Published on June 21, 2012 at 1:13 PM
Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out daily tasks, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health. According to the NIMH, it affects 5.7 million adults in the United States. It has two mood episodes: an overly joyful or excited state called a manic episode and an extremely sad or hopeless state called a depressive episode. Current medications are successful in treating 50 to 60 percent of patients, Soares said.
"Bipolar depression causes substantial problems for people, affecting their concentration, memory, sleep and energy level," said Soares, co-director of the UT Center of Excellence on Mood Disorders. "Sometimes they try the medications currently available with poor results. This is an adjunctive treatment to see if it helps in combination with the medications they are already taking."
The study is double-blinded, randomized and placebo-controlled. In addition to their current medications, patients will receive NAC, aspirin, placebo, or NAC and aspirin together.
Source: The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston