Resistant bipolar disorder precipitated by Behcet's syndrome


  • Each author declares that they have no potential conflict of interest.

Basil Alevizos, MD,
Department of Psychiatry, Eginition Hospital, 74, Vass. Sophias Ave, Athens 11528, Greece.
Fax: +3210 7242020;


Objective:  To report a case of a patient with Behcet's syndrome who developed treatment resistant bipolar disorder (BD) several years after the onset of Behcet's syndrome.

Methods:  A 62-year-old woman suffering from Behcet's syndrome since the age of 38, who developed a typical BD 6 years after the first manifestations of the syndrome was described.

Results:  Once BD occurred, Behcet's syndrome became milder, while BD deteriorated and evolved into a rapid cycling illness. Lithium and carbamazepine were ineffective in controlling the affective symptoms, while sodium valproate combined with low doses of carbamazepine and olanzapine resulted in sufficient stabilization of her mood state.

Conclusions:  Behcet's syndrome may have been the organic substrate for BD in this case. The appearance of BD in the setting of an organic-immune disorder, like Behcet's syndrome, suggests that such disorders may be the neurobiologic substrate or contributor for BD, at least in certain cases.