Characteristics of Bipolar I patients grouped by externalizing disorders

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5 Scopus citations


Abstract Background Bipolar disorder co-occurs with a number of disorders with externalizing features. The aim of this study is to determine whether Bipolar I (BPI) subjects with comorbid externalizing disorders and a subgroup with externalizing symptoms prior to age 15 have different clinical features than those without externalizing disorders and whether these could be attributed to specific genetic variations. Methods A large cohort (N=2505) of Bipolar I subjects was analyzed. Course of illness parameters were compared between an Externalizing Group, an Early-Onset Subgroup and a Non-Externalizing Group in the Discovery sample (N=1268). Findings were validated using an independent set of 1237 BPI subjects (Validation sample). Genetic analyses were carried out. Results Subjects in the Externalizing Group (and Early-Onset Subgroup) tended to have a more severe clinical course, even in areas specifically related to mood disorder such as cycling frequency and rapid mood switching. Regression analysis showed that the differences are not completely explainable by substance use. Genetic analyses identified nominally associated SNPs; calcium channel genes were not enriched in the gene variants identified. Limitations Validation in independent samples is needed to confirm the genetic findings in the present study. Conclusions Our findings support the presence of an externalizing disorder subphenotype within BPI with greater severity of mood disorder and possible specific genetic features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7324
Pages (from-to)206-214
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Comorbidity
  • Early onset
  • Externalizing disorders
  • Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

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