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Bipolar hope with schizophrenia drug

24th October 2005

People who suffer from bipolar disorder may be able to take control of their symptoms with a drug already available on the market.

Produced by pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, the drug Seroquel, usually used to treat schizophrenia, could help control both manic and depressive episodes of people with bipolar disorder.

Based on the findings of a self-funded study, AstraZeneca has now announced plans to file for an extension to its licence in the US so the drug can help treat bipolar sufferers.

The company said its trials showed that using Seroquel significantly reduced levels of bipolar depression compared with a dummy pill.

People with Bipolar disorder suffer from mood swings, being extremely happy during mania episodes and then dropping to depressive lows. It affects around four per cent of the adult population.