Insurance Coverage of TMS for Bipolar Depression

A patient represented by an attorney obtained AETNA health insurance coverage for rTMS treatment of bipolar depression.  The patient satisfied the insurer’s policy guidelines for rTMS treatment of major depression by demonstrating failed trials of 4 different medications.  Reimbursement was based on the plan’s allowed percentage of the “covered amount”.  The AETNA Appeals Decision stated: “TMS treatment is being authorized for …

bipolar light therapy

Bipolar Light Therapy – Timing and Effect – Nancy

Bipolar light therapy can improve mood and daytime alertness.  Light therapy is often used as an adjunctive treatment for patients who experience residual depressive effects while taking lithium or valproate as mood stabilizers.  Light therapy can also be useful for those who need to minimize medications, such as pregnant women or the elderly. A study conducted at the at Northwestern …

Bipolar Depression Light Therapy

Bipolar Depression Light Therapy

The news that bipolar depression light therapy may be effective is good news and follows a series of studies this past year highlighting the importance of treatments that affect circadian rhythms by manipulating light and dark in treating mood disorders. Bipolar depression is one of the hardest conditions to treat effectively. Antidepressant medications may have significant side effects, including inducing …

Bipolar Depression Articles – WSJ

The mother of a young man with bipolar depression sent us the link to this article in the Wall Street Journal which gives a pretty balanced update on what we know about diagnosing bipolar depression (as opposed to unipolar depression). http://www.wsj.com/articles/seeking-better-ways-to-treat-the-lows-of-bipolar-disorder-1436221964 Perhaps in keeping with the overall mission of the newspaper, the discussion is heavily focused on technology, as opposed …

Bipolar Depression – Energized States are Rare

I ran across this slide in the Psychiatric Times Bipolar Disorder Information Center. I think it neatly illustrates why so many of the people I talk with, particularly people with bipolar 2, find it hard to understand the diagnosis. On average, patients with bipolar disorder spent  roughly 70% of their time in a depression when they were having mood symptoms. Patients …

Bipolar or Unipolar Depression?

Bipolar or unipolar depression: How to distinguish between these two conditions, which can have very different treatment response remains a difficult question without really satisfying answers. As noted in the picture to the right, misdiagnosis is common and can have serious consequences. An article in European Psychiatry adds to the literature pointing to certain features that increase the odds that someone …