Background: The nosological and clinical implications of psychotic features in the course of mood disorders have been widely debated. Currently, no specification exists for defining a subgroup of lifetime Psychotic Mood Disorder (PMD) patients. Methods: A total of 2178 patients were examined, including subjects with Bipolar Disorder (BP) type I (n = 519) and II (n = 207) and Major Depressive Disorder (n = 1452). Patients were divided between PMD (n = 645) and non-psychotic Mood Disorders (MD) (n = 1533) by the lifetime presence of at least one mood episode with psychotic features. Subjects having a depressive episode at the time of assessment were also examined: HAM-D and YMRS scores were compared between MD and PMD subjects, both with and without current psychotic features. Results: A diagnosis of BP-I, a higher familial load for BP, a higher number of mood episodes lifetime, and a higher prevalence of OCD and somatic comorbidities were all associated to PMD. A diagnosis of BP (OR = 4.48) was the only significant predictor for psychosis. PMD with non-psychotic depression were apparently less severe than MD patients and had a lower rate of "non-responders" to AD treatment. Sub-threshold manic symptoms and suicidal risk were also more pronounced among PMD. Limitations: The lack of information about number and polarity of previous psychotic mood episodes may be the major limitations of our study. Conclusions: BP diagnosis is the most significant predictor for psychosis in mood disorders. Non-psychotic mood episodes in PMD patients may be characterized by a distinctive symptom profile and, possibly, a different response to treatment.
|National Found for Scientific Research
|Institut national de la recherche scientifique
- Major depression
- Mood disorders