Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions, including bipolar disorder. During clinical trials, treatments might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments. The goal of clinical trials is to determine if a new test or treatment works and is safe. Although individual participants may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others may be better helped in the future.
"The particular combinations and severity of symptoms vary among people with bipolar disorder. Some people experience very severe manic episodes, during which they may feel "out of control," have major impairment in functioning, and suffer psychotic symptoms. Other people have milder hypomanic episodes, characterized by low-level, non-psychotic symptoms of mania such as increased energy, euphoria, irritability, and intrusiveness, that may cause little impairment in functioning but are noticeable to others. Some people suffer severe, incapacitating depressions, with or without psychosis, that prevent them from working, going to school, or interacting with family or friends. Others experience more moderate depressive episodes, which may feel just as painful but impair functioning to a lesser degree. Inpatient hospitalization is often necessary to treat severe episodes of mania and depression."