New hope for bipolar patients suffering from hepatitis C

June 8, 2012

New research led by Drs. Curtis Cooper and Erin Kelly has opened a door to better treatment for people who are bipolar and suffer from hepatitis C. People with this combination of illnesses are commonly not considered for antiviral treatment for fear that the mood disorder will be exacerbated. Dr. Cooper’s study found that these patients—with proper selection and monitoring—can complete antiviral treatment with outcomes comparable to non-bipolar patients. See European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology for details. The research is particularly timely, as high-profile bipolar and hepatitis-C positive comedian Mike MacDonald was recently interviewed by the Ottawa Citizen and other media about his illness, and his search for a liver transplant.

The authors acknowledge the contributions of the patients and staff of The Ottawa Hospital Viral Hepatitis Program. Dr. Cooper acknowledges The Ottawa Hospital Department of Medicine for funding support.