AstraZeneca Traveling Patient Health Exhibit Continues to Help Americans Understand and Manage Bipolar Depression

Interactive exhibit launches its second tour to educate and inspire patients and caregivers across the country

WILMINGTON, Del., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Following last year's efforts to support bipolar depression awareness and education, AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) is relaunching The Bipolar Journey: Living With Bipolar Depression interactive exhibit in a second tour to patients and caregivers across America. The national 10-city tour will kick off at the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) 2010 National Conference on April 29 in Itasca, Illinois. Those who have been touched by bipolar depression -- the depressive phase of bipolar disorder -- are encouraged to learn more about living with and managing this disease by visiting a nearby exhibit site and engaging with the interactive materials, activities, and informative Web sites like This year, the exhibit will extend to patients and caregivers in additional cities across America through a scaled, tabletop version of the exhibit that incorporates all of its assets in a smaller, compact version.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click

"The more you understand about bipolar depression, the better equipped you are to successfully cope with your disease or help a loved one do the same," said Janet Taylor, MD, a New York-based Psychiatrist in private practice. "In my experience, many bipolar patients find that their depressive symptoms are more disruptive than their manic symptoms, making it difficult for them to handle everyday tasks. To move forward, I've learned that an engaging, interactive approach can be very effective in motivating patients to find an appropriate treatment plan for their symptoms. The Bipolar Journey exhibit's consumer-focused activities provide insight and clarity into the life of someone living with bipolar depression, inspiring patients and caregivers to start talking with a physician about managing the illness."

In its second run, the Bipolar Journey will continue to feature much of the same imagery, multimedia activities, and interactive tools that helped patients last year connect with experts as well as other patients and caregivers who have dealt with the impact of bipolar depression in their own lives. For example, visitors will be able to interact with a popular educational tool, which allows users to select questions of interest and hear video responses from Dr. Taylor. An "inspiration wall" will allow visitors to view inspirational messages from people who visited the exhibit last year. The exhibit also includes a podcast listening station, a short video, several educational materials people can take home, and the opportunity to explore to learn more about bipolar depression.

In an effort to further help those affected by bipolar depression, The Bipolar Journey tabletop exhibit will serve as an extension of the campaign by traveling to additional cities across the country beginning this spring. The compact exhibit mirrors the look and feel of the large-scale exhibit and offers visitors many of its same resources, including the Dr. Taylor educational video tool and support materials to help educate people about bipolar depression.

One of The Bipolar Journey's main goals is to give patients the resources they need to help find appropriate support to manage their disease. In addition to encouraging patients to work with a physician to develop a treatment plan, the exhibit offers opportunities to register for Thinking Forward™, a support program that provides free information, resources, and practical advice for people with bipolar depression.

Please visit to download a 2010 tour schedule, examples of featured activities, photos, a fact sheet about bipolar disorder, a narrative that depicts the journey of bipolar depression, a mood diary, questions to ask your doctor, and additional resources.

About Bipolar Disorder

Millions of American adults are affected by bipolar disorder, a serious psychiatric condition also known as manic depressive illness.(1,2) Bipolar disorder consists of recurring episodes of mania and depression.(3) Bipolar I disorder is characterized by one or more manic or mixed episodes, often with one or more episodes of major depression, whereas bipolar II disorder is distinguished by one or more major depressive episodes accompanied by at least one hypomanic episode.(3)

Throughout their lives, patients with bipolar I disorder experience depressive symptoms approximately three times longer than manic symptoms.(4) Similarly, patients with bipolar II disorder spend almost forty times longer in the depressed state than in hypomania.(5) Up to 50 percent of patients with bipolar disorder attempt suicide, and approximately 15 to 20 percent complete suicide.(6)

Bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed as major depressive disorder. This misdiagnosis can lead to unfocused treatment that may exacerbate the disease. In fact, many patients face ten years or more before a correct diagnosis is made.(7) Therefore, prior to initiating treatment with an antidepressant, patients with depressive symptoms should be adequately screened to determine if they are at risk for bipolar disorder.(8)

Bipolar disorder is typically managed through a treatment strategy with several phases – including acute and maintenance phases. In the acute phase, the goal is to treat the patient until symptoms remit; the maintenance treatment phase aims to reduce the risk of recurrence of future episodes.(9)

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines.  As a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease medicines, AstraZeneca generated global revenues of $32.8 billion in 2009.  In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $14.8 billion healthcare business.

For more information about AstraZeneca in the US or our AZ&Me™ Prescription Savings programs, please visit: or call 1-800-AZandMe (292-6363). Thinking Forward and AZ&ME are trademarks of the AstraZeneca group of companies.


Troy Benavidez



[email protected]

Shannon Miller



[email protected]

Kirsten Evraire



[email protected]


  1. Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Walters EE. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of twelve-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005:62(6):617-627.
  2. National Institute of Mental Health. The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America. 2008. Available at:  Accessed on January 7, 2010.
  3. American Psychiatric Association (APA). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC: APA; 2000; 382-397.
  4. Judd LL, Akiskal HS, Schettler PJ, et al. The Long-term Natural History of the Weekly Symptomatic Status of Bipolar I Disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2002; 59:530-537.
  5. Judd LL, Akiskal HS, Schettler PJ, et al. A Prospective Investigation of the Natural History of the Long-term Weekly Symptomatic Status of Bipolar II Disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2003; 60:261-269.
  6. Oquendo MA, Chaudhury SR, Mann JJ. Pharmacotherapy of Suicidal Behavior in Bipolar Disorder. Archives of Suicide Research. 2005; 9(3):237-250.
  7. Hirschfeld RMA, Lewis L, Vornik LA. Perceptions and Impact of Bipolar Disorder: How Far Have We Really Come? Results of the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association 2000 Survey of Individuals With Bipolar Disorder. J Clin Psychiatry. 2003; 64:161-174.
  8. US Food and Drug Administration. Revisions to Product Labeling. Accessed April 23, 2010.
  9. American Psychiatric Association. Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder, Second Edition. April 2002. Accessed June 10, 2009.

299580 4/10

SOURCE AstraZeneca