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UTHSC San Antonio part of $22 million bipolar disorder study (2-06-01)

The National Institute of Mental Health early today announced a nationwide study geared toward improving the treatment of bipolar disorder. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is a site for the study.

The principal investigator is Charles L. Bowden, M.D., who occupies the Nancy Ullman Karren Chair in Psychiatry at the Health Science Center. The 18 sites nationwide will enroll 5,000 patients; the San Antonio center seeks to enroll 200.

Dr. Bowden says psychiatrists are able to offer patients with bipolar disorder a much-improved quality of life and, in some cases, even an increased life span by preventing suicides. "Using new medications that are becoming available, we are able to improve functioning in more than 50 percent of the cases," he said.

Bipolar disorder, also called manic depression, is a mood disorder that affects more than 2 million people in the United States.

Dr. Bowden has been on the psychiatry faculty since 1970. A native Texan from Brownwood, he attended The University of Texas at Austin and earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He completed his residency in psychiatry at Columbia University.

Contact: Will Sansom