A family study of rapid-cycling bipolar illness

J Affect Disord. 1988 Jul-Aug;15(1):87-91. doi: 10.1016/0165-0327(88)90013-4.


Twenty-nine out of 195 bipolar/episodic schizoaffective patients were judged to be rapid-cyclers (15%). Twenty-five of the 29 were female (86%). The age-corrected morbid risk for major affective disorder was 23.5% in 179 relatives of rapid-cyclers and 31.0% in 189 relatives of matched non-rapid cyclers (chi 2 = 2.6, NS). The prevalence of rapid-cycling itself was also not different in the two groups of relatives. Rapid-cycling thus appears to arise from factors which are separable from the genetic vulnerability to bipolar illness and which do not lead to aggregation within families.

MeSH terms

  • Bipolar Disorder / genetics*
  • Depressive Disorder / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychotic Disorders / genetics*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors