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Kindling Theory

Kindling Theory is the idea that one episode of unstable mood paves the way for more frequent and more severe episodes in the furture. Kindling theory originally was related to epilepsy and the idea that seizures got more severe and frequent over time, and then observation seemed to indicate it was also a feature of Bipolar.

 Features associated with the delayed initiation of mood stabilizers at illness onset in bipolar disorder.Goldberg JF, Ernst CL. discusses how delaying treament for Bipolar symptoms can mean a worse outcome for treament. However, not everyone is sure that the Kindling Model is acurate. At this time, the only way I see to prove or disprove this fascinating theory is a large (very large) and very long study that follows a group of Bipolars for many years to see the outcome.

How to prevent kindling? Proper and timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment with medications that are effective is the only way to prevent kindling.

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