The top ten research questions about bipolar have been published by the James Lind Alliance following a two-year project.

The James Lind Alliance and Bipolar Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) have worked alongside Bipolar UK since September 2014. An initial national survey gathered nearly 14,500 questions from patients, families and health professionals. After these were longlisted to 71 questions, another survey resulted in the top 35 potential research questions.

A workshop then helped to select the top questions for potential future research into bipolar. You can find out more and see the full list of 35 questions here.

The top ten research questions are:

  1. What causes bipolar?
  2. How can treatments be tailored to individuals?
  3. What is the most effective combination of self-management approaches, therapy and medication?
  4. What are the best ways to manage suicide risk among people with bipolar?
  5. What could be done for people who do not get better with treatment?
  6. What are the best ways to manage the side-effects of medication (including weight gain, problems with thinking and memory, and emotional numbness)?
  7. Why does it take so long to get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, and how could time to diagnosis be shortened?
  8. Which are the best medications for treating episodes and for prevention of relapse in bipolar?
  9. How effective are talking therapies such as counselling, dynamic psychotherapy and CBT?
  10. Can medications with fewer side-effects be developed?

The two-year project helped to identify a huge number of unanswered questions about bipolar, including its causes, diagnosis and treatment. The results of the survey ensure that future advances in bipolar research are shaped by individuals with personal and lived experience of bipolar.

Go here to download a flyer from the James Lind Alliance detailing the PSP, the results and the organisation involved.