Objective: To describe clinical characteristics, course, and outcome during a 1-year period after the first manic episode in patients with bipolar disorder (BD). Methods: This paper describes the project design, demographics, clinical outcomes, and predictors at 6 months to 1 year of follow-up of the first 53 recruited subjects with first-episode mania from the Systematic Treatment Optimization Program for Early Mania. Results: Survival analysis for recurrence of mood episodes showed that 46.7% of patients survived without a mood episode during 1-year of follow-up, and the mean time-to-mood event was 7.9 months. Earlier age of onset was the only variable that significantly predicted recurrence of mood episodes. When examined separately, the survival rates were 76% for a manic episode and 58.7% for a depressive episode. Conclusion: These results suggest that recurrences are common after the first manic episode with more than one-half of the patients experiencing a mood event within 12 months. Aggressive treatment strategies aimed at preventing depressive episodes are needed in the management of early course BD.
- Bipolar disorder