Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that severely affects the sufferer, making it difficult to carry out everyday tasks and to interact with other people. Diagnosis and treatment of patients can be complicated, as the course of the illness is unpredictable and early recognition is subjective.

To deal with this situation, psychiatrists at Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and data scientist from Edimburgh have carried a study that explores the use of wearable technology, to monitor mood swings in individuals with bipolar disorder by tracking changes in skin electrical signals associated with manic and depressive states. The research aims to refine observed patterns in physiological biomarkers to aid in identifying mood swings, improving diagnosis, and enabling personalized treatment options.

For the study thay used a commercially available Empatica E4 bracelet to collect real time physiological data from 38 individuals with bipolar disorder and 19 healthy control participants. The wristband collects information on the user’s electrodermal activity as well as additional parameters such as heart rate, how the person is moving and whether they are sleeping.

The study found that reduced skin electrical activity was associated with the depressive phase in individuals with bipolar disorder, and alterations in skin electrical activity could identify the transition from a manic to a depressive state.

The study could significantly enhance the understanding and management of bipolar disorder, benefiting the over 700,000 individuals estimated to have the condition in Europe.

Article written by Open Acces Government|Image by Diego Hidalgo-MazzeI



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