Psychiatr. Pol. 2014; 48(6):1127–1141
Ewa Ferensztajn, Agnieszka Remlinger-Molenda, Janusz Rybakowski
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Etapy przebiegu choroby afektywnej jednobiegunowej
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Staging of unipolar affective illness
In this article, a concept of staging of unipolar affective illness (recurrent depression) is presented. In respective subchapters, three most important aspects of this issue have been discussed: 1) staging of unipolar affective illness; 2) staging of treatment-resistant depression; and 3) conversion of unipolar into bipolar affective illness. The evidence for so called neuroprogression of the illness, accumulated in recent years, has allowed for a classification of staging based on a concept of allostasis and allostatic load. In the course of illness, changes in neuroendocrine system (mainly hypothalamic pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis), immunological system, mechanisms of oxidative stress, neurotransmitters, neurotrophic factors as well as structural and functional changes of the brain occur. In their paper of 2007, Fava and Tossani elaborated a concept of staging of unipolar affective illness presenting a continuum model of five consecutive stages with specific clinical features. In the present paper, a concept of treatment-resistant depression and staging of treatment resistance is presented in the context of several models. An important determinant of treatment-resistant depression is so called subthreshold bipolarity which is connected with worse efficacy of antidepressant drugs. In the course of illness, there is a possibility of changing diagnosis from recurrent depression into bipolar affective illness. The studies on this issue show that frequency of such diagnostic conversion is 1,5% of depressed patients per year.