This exploratory study examined the cortisol awakening response (CAR) in patients with bipolar disorder (BPD) at acute phases and partial remission of manic or depressive episodes. Saliva samples of twenty-seven BPD inpatients and 25 healthy controls were collected to determine the CAR patterns, and 12 patients were sampled again at partial remission. BPD patients exhibited a non-enhanced CAR pattern. Lower cortisol expression and a blunted CAR distinguished bipolar-depressive patients from the controls. The intra-individual follow-up for both patient groups revealed a non-significant improvement in CAR patterns, indicating a trend of a normalized CAR after partial remission for BPD patients.
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