Cerebrovascular disease

What is cerebrovascular disease in bipolar disorder?

People with bipolar disorder may show increased rates of co-occurring conditions when compared to general population rates. Cerebrovascular disease includes strokes, transient ischemic attacks, aneurysms, and vascular malformations. A stroke happens when blood flow to the brain is interrupted due to a blocked artery (ischaemic stroke) or when an artery bursts (haemorrhagic stroke). A transient ischemic attack is similar to a stroke, but less severe, and an aneurysm involves an enlarged artery caused by weakness in the arterial wall. These can all cause brain damage if cells do not get enough of the oxygen and nutrients that are carried by the blood to the brain.

What is the evidence for cerebrovascular disease in people with bipolar disorder?

Moderate quality evidence finds a small increase in cerebrovascular disease and stroke in people with bipolar disorder compared to people without bipolar disorder. The effect size was reduced, but remained significant in longitudinal studies, after adjustment for other variables that may have explained this association (e.g. co-occurring obesity, alcohol and substance-related disorders, diabetes, hypertension or hyperlipidemia).

October 2021

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Last updated at: 11:59 pm, 22nd October 2021
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