Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905.
Manic syndromes have many neurologic, toxic, and metabolic causes. It is important for clinicians to be able to distinguish these organic disorders from primary idiopathic mania (bipolar disorder). The cardinal symptom of organic mania is an abnormally and persistently elevated or irritable mood. Organic mania usually develops in patients who are older than 35 years of age, whereas bipolar disorder generally has its onset between late adolescence and age 25 years. In patients with the first episode of mania, the clinician should thoroughly elicit information about current symptoms, recent infections, use of drugs, and past or family history of psychiatric disorders. In addition, a complete medical examination, computed tomography of the head, electroencephalography, and screening for drugs and toxins should be done. Treatment of organic mania includes correcting the underlying disorder when possible.