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CME: Bipolar and mood disorder: Therapeutic updates and best practices


Activity Description / Statement of Need:

In this online CME self-learning activity:

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by episodes of mania, hypomania, and depression. It affects 3-4% of the U.S. population, represents a substantial societal and economic burden in the United States, is also found to be strongly associated with other major public health concerns like diabetes and cardiovascular disease as well as suicide.

The literature demonstrates that medication nonadherence is a major issue among patients with bipolar disorder. Nonadherence affects approximately 60% of patients and can result in hospitalization, poor effectiveness, increased relapses, and increased risk of morbidity. Other factors, such as patient perceptions, illness severity, and the relationship between the physician and patient, come into play and should be taken into account to optimize adherence.

Target Audience:

Healthcare professionals specializing in: family medicine, internal medicine, mental health, neurology and psychiatry, or those who otherwise commonly care for patients with bipolar or related psychiatric diseases.

This program is supported by an educational grant from Alkermes.

Learners may participate in this activity free of charge.

Release Date: September 11, 2020 -- Expiration Date: September 11, 2022

Faculty: Rimal Bera, MD


Introduction, disclosures

Bipolar disorder’s epidemiology, neuropathophysiology, presentation, comorbidities, and psychosocial impact:

  • Statistics and pathophysiologic development and progression
  • Psychosocial and socioeconomic factors

o   Diagnostic criteria

  • Literature updates

Treatment with an emphasis on bipolar disorder I

  • Pharmacological, first-line and beyond

o   Prescription medications

o   Acute treatment of mania

o   Mixed episodes

o   Maintenance treatment

o   Treatment follow-up and assessment of outcomes

  • Barriers to optimal care
    • Adherence (side effects, patient perception, etc.)
    • Existence of comorbid diseases
    • Weight gain and other adverse events
  • Mitigating adverse events
    • Combination treatment
    • Adverse event management and support

o   Best practice: Putting it all together

o   Patient case(s)

Summary, conclusions, and best practice recap

Learning Objectives

By the end of the session the participant will be able to:

  • Identify current and emerging treatment modalities for the management of bipolar disorder and apply them to patient cases using evidence-based medicine.
  • Evaluate a specific patient during the maintenance phase of therapy and suggest modifications for improvement, taking into account: Efficacy; changes in symptoms; adverse effects of therapy; and impact on quality of life.
  • Describe the challenges associated with treating patients with bipolar disorder, including medication adherence and adverse effects, such as weight gain.
  • Recall the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder as it relates to the mechanisms of action of available and emerging pharmacotherapies.


ACCME Activity #201861271


Faculty Disclosure and Resolution of COI

As a provider of continuing medical education, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all of its educational activities. In accordance with this policy, faculty and educational planners must disclose any significant relationships with commercial interests whose products or devices may be mentioned in faculty presentations, and any relationships with the commercial supporter of the activity. The intent of this disclosure is to provide the intended audience with information on which they can make their own judgments. Additionally, in the event a conflict of interest (COI) does exist, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure that the COI is resolved in order to ensure the integrity of the CME activity. For this CME activity, any COI has been resolved thru content review ScientiaCME.

Faculty Disclosure: Remal Bera, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, University of California, Irvine, has no relevant conflicts of interest to disclose.

Disclosures of Educational Planners: Charles Turck, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP, CEO of ScientiaCME, has no relevant conflicts of interest to disclose.

Commercial Support Disclosure: This program is supported by an educational grant from Alkermes.


  • Read the learning objectives above
  • Take the Pre-Test (optional). Completion of the pre-test will help us evaluate the knowledge gained by participating in this CME activity.
  • View the online activity. You may view this is in more than one session, and may pause or repeat any portion of the presentation if you need to.
  • Minimum participation threshold: Take the post-test. A score of 70% or higher is required to pass and proceed to the activity evaluation.
  • Complete the activity evaluation and CME registration. A CE certificate will be emailed to you immediately.

Cultural/Linguistic Competence & Health Disparities

System Requirements

Windows 7 or above
Internet Explorer 8
*Adobe Acrobat Reader
Mac OS 10.2.8
Safari or Chrome or Firefox
*Adobe Acrobat Reader
Internet Explorer is not supported on the Macintosh

*Required to view Printable PDF Version

Perform Pre-Test (optional)

Please take a few minutes to participate in the optional pre-test. It will help us measure the knowledge gained by participating in this activity.

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