Bipolar disorder -– where patients experience recurrent episodes of mood disturbance, ranging from extreme elation (mania) to severe depression -- is thought to affect roughly 2% of the world's population in its most pronounced forms (bipolar I and II), with milder forms of the disorder affecting another 2%. A new Lancet Series provides a comprehensive overview of the genetics, diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder, outlining future challenges and debating imminent changes to the criteria that psychiatrists use to diagnose the illness. (Free registration required.)

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