Long-term remission and recovery in bipolar disorder: A review

Joseph F. Goldberg, Jessica L. Garno, Martin Harrow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Longitudinal outcome studies of bipolar disorder show that most patients encounter affective recurrences, interepisode symptoms, and residual functional impairment. The kindling model suggests that the timing and periodicity of recurrent episodes may help to predict future illness course. This article examines contemporary data regarding patterns of affective recurrence, and the extent to which variable versus consistent or sustained remissions influence long-term illness course. Consequences of affective recurrence are examined from psychosocial, pharmacologic, and neurobiological perspectives. Multiple affective recurrences may be linked with subsequent treatment resistance, psychosocial disability, and possible functional neuroanatomic changes. Existing data support the prognostic importance of effective treatment early in the course of illness, with a goal to achieve and maintain clinical homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-461
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Psychiatry Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


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