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December 7, 2009

FDA Approves Zyprexa for Bipolar Adolescents

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Zyprexa (olanzapine) for treatment of schizophrenia and manic/mixed episodes associated with Bipolar I disorder in adolescents aged 13-17 years. This approval, announced on Dec. 4, comes with plenty of warnings for would be users of the drug. The updated Zyprexa label states that clinicians should take into consideration the increased potential for weight gain and hyperlipidemia in adolescents compared to adults and the potential for long-term risks, which in many cases, may lead them to consider prescribing other drugs first in adolescents. For additional reference review our Oct. 28 blog which Read more...
Posted by Michael Lane at 11:14 AM | Comments (39)

December 6, 2009

FDA Approves Seroquel for Bipolar Children and Adolescents

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Friday that Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate) has been approved for the acute treatment of manic episodes associated with bipolar I disorder in children and adolescents (10-17 years of age), both as monotherapy (single-drug therapy) and as an adjunct to Lithium or Depakote (valproic acid). The FDA also approved Seroquel for the treatment of schizophrenia in adolescents (13-17 years of age) as monotherapy. "Bipolar mania and schizophrenia in children and adolescents, while rare, are serious disorders and it is important to have treatments approved for use in this patient population," said Howard Hutchinson, M.D., Read more...
Posted by Michael Lane at 9:31 PM | Comments (10)

November 18, 2009

Frontline Video explores Bipolar Disorder in children

Frontline recently aired a program that explores the rapid increase in diagnoses of bipolar disorder in children during the past 7-8 years; the program is an update from earlier Frontline pieces which aired in 2001 and 2008. This program offers an overview of the current environment and attitude in the US vis-à-vis diagnosing young children with bipolar disorder and prescribing psychiatric medicines (many of which are "off label" for kids and adolescents). The video asserts that the rapid increase in diagnosis of bipolar disorder for kids is primarily a US phenomenon and conveys the heart wrenching uncertainty for families who Read more...
Posted by Michael Lane at 10:23 AM | Comments (7)

November 10, 2009

Large Increase in Pediatric Bipolar Disorder?

The Issue The steady drum beat of diagnosing kids and adolescents across the U.S. with mental illnesses seems to have quickened during the past few years. Increasingly, parents come out of meetings with school counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists et. al. with a diagnosis of pediatric bipolar disorder, early onset bipolar disorder and/or ADHD and a prescription for psychiatric medicines. These diagnoses can both calm and alarm parents. Several recent posts from Kimberly Read, a regular contributor to regarding bipolar disorder, caught my eye. She sites a whopping 4,000 percent increase in pediatric bipolar disorder; I was intrigued by this statistic Read more...
Posted by Michael Lane at 12:36 PM | Comments (2)

October 28, 2009

Children taking meds for bipolar disorder can effect rapid weight gain

Children taking psychiatric medications for bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses can experience rapid weight gain according to a new study published in the Oct. 28 The Journal of the American Medicine Association. The findings also link some of these drugs to metabolic changes such as elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. The Study monitored 272 children from the Queens, NY area, ages 4-19 (with an average age of 14), over a six year period (2001-2007); these children were receiving atypical antipsychotics such as Abilify, Risperdal, Seroquel, and Zyprexa for the first time. These medicines are considered 2nd generation drugs Read more...
Posted by Michael Lane at 11:45 AM | Comments (5)

October 13, 2009

Researchers find impact of single gene on Bipolar Disorder - Question use of Lithium for Children

Summary A new study suggests that a single gene, called GSK-3, controls the signals that determine how many neurons actually end up composing the brain. This has important implications for patients with neuropsychiatric illness, as links have recently been drawn between GSK-3 and schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorder. In populating the growing brain, neural stem cells must strike a delicate balance between two key processes - proliferation, in which the cells multiply to provide plenty of starting materials - and differentiation, in which those materials evolve into functioning neurons. If the stem cells proliferate too much, they could grow out Read more...
Posted by Michael Lane at 1:38 PM | Comments (9)

October 2, 2009

Some Teens and Young Adults May Grow Out of Their Bipolar Disorder

University of Missouri researchers have found evidence that nearly half of those diagnosed between the ages of 18 and 25 may outgrow the disorder by the time they reach 30. "Using two large nationally representative studies, we found that there was a strikingly high peak prevalence of bipolar disorders in emerging adulthood," said David Cicero, doctoral student in the Department of Psychological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science David Cicero is a graduate student, who led a paper on treatment of bipolar disorder. David Cicero is a graduate student, who led a paper on treatment of bipolar disorder. Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 4:22 PM | Comments (1)

September 21, 2009

Children of Bipolar Parents

Apropos of our recent post on September 17, we came across a University of Pittsburgh Study released earlier this year which offers additional information about children of bipolar parents. Children and teens of parents with bipolar disorder have an increased risk of early-onset bipolar disorder, mood disorders and anxiety disorders, according to a study by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers published in the March issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. An estimated one in 100 children and teens worldwide has bipolar disorder. Identifying the condition early may improve long-term outcomes, potentially preventing high Read more...
Posted by Michael Lane at 3:58 PM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2009

Genetic link between Adults and Children with bipolar disorder

Many bipolar patients must face the terrifying prospect that their illness may be passed along to their children! A recent Q&A post from CNN caught our attention: Question: "My boyfriend and I discussing getting engaged and having children one day. He said he's scared to have kids. His biological grandmother and his father both have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He has no symptoms of it, but some of his siblings do. He is terrified that his children could inherit this disorder! My family has no history of it at all. Since neither of us have it, should we Read more...
Posted by Michael Lane at 10:21 AM | Comments (5)

July 27, 2009

Congressional Update: House passes legislation with increased funding for Mental Illness research and services

On July 24, the House of Representatives approved legislation (HR 3293) that includes increased funding for mental illness research and services for FY 2010 HR 3293 is an Appropriations Bill which sets spending levels for the Labor-HHS- and Education Departments for FY2010 (which begins on Oct 1, 2009). The Senate takes up similar legislation next week. HR 3292 Hightlights include: 993 million increase for the Limitation on Administrative Expenses (LAE) budget which pays for administrative costs associated with implementing entitlement programs such as SSI and SSDI - This will help the Social Security Administration cope with an unprecedented backlog in Read more...
Posted by Michael Lane at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2007

Documentary on Childhood Bipolar Disorder in the Works

Beyond Nuclear: Bipolar Children and Their Families is a new documentary looking at the rising issue of bipolar disorder in children, and the effects on the family. The documentary is in the process of being completed; they are continuing to gather expert interviews and personal stories. It is expected to be available later this year. Read more...
Posted by Michelle Roberts at 2:23 PM | Comments (1)

May 22, 2007

Is Childhood Bipolar Disorder Overdiagnosed in the US?

New Scientist magazine has an indepth article that covers the issue of the increasing tendency for atypical American children to be diagnosed with 'juvenile bipolar disorder'. The article suggests that young children are being increasingly diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the US, despite the fact that there is limited evidence for its validity and disagreement about its symptoms. The diagnosis of childhood bipolar disorder is - other experts have noted - has many issues associated with it. Part of the issue is that children often are not able to report their thoughts and emotions adequately, and equally importantly there are Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 9:27 AM | Comments (0)

April 9, 2007

Childhood Bipolar Disorder Controversy

The New Yorker magazine has an interesting article on the current controversy on whether it's possible (or even valid) to diagnose bipolar disorder in children. In the article the journalist Jerome Groopman talks to many experts at the National Institute of Mental Health and elsewhere and comes up with some interesting information. We encourage you to read the entire article. The article notes that at a N.I.M.H. meeting, the psychiatrists argued about whether bipolar disorder actually existed in children and whether an accurate diagnosis could be made. Meanwhile, articles inspired by the Papoloses' book "The Bipolar Child" began cropping up Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 10:58 AM | Comments (4)

March 8, 2007

Internet Video on Childhood Bipolar Disorder

Following is a reasonably good introductory video on childhood bipolar disorder. Let us know your thoughts... click on the "play" button to start the video below. You can also download the video here if you want to show it to people who don't have a high speed internet connection. Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 3:31 PM | Comments (4)

February 1, 2007

Extreme irritability -- is it childhood bipolar disorder?

Results of a new study may help improve the diagnosis and treatment of two debilitating childhood mental disorders -- pediatric bipolar disorder (BD) and a syndrome called severe mood dysregulation (SMD). When the brain's electrical signals were measured during mildly frustrating situations, researchers from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), of the National Institutes of Health, found a very different pattern in children with SMD, compared with children who had BD. The results indicate that different brain mechanisms may lead to irritability in children with SMD, suggesting that they may have an illness other than BD and may require Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 9:35 AM | Comments (3)

October 6, 2006

Bipolar Disorder May Be Indicated in Some Youth with Short Episodes Of Mania

Not all children with bipolar disorder may be getting properly identified because they fall just short of meeting diagnostic criteria for the disorder--criteria that is based on adult experiences--finds a study that examines the characteristics of children and adolescents who have symptoms of mania. The findings, from the first study of its kind to delineate the types of symptoms seen in children with bipolar spectrum disorders, were published today by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the Archives of General Psychiatry. The researchers found that a significant number of children who presented with symptoms of bipolar Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 9:31 AM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2005

Stimulant Use Predicts Poor Prognosis

Adolescents who were treated with stimulant may have a more severe case of bipolar disorder and therefore may have a poorer prognosis. Researchers in Ohio looked at the effects of antidepressant and stimulant treatment in those suffering from bipolar disorder. They looked at the severity of their bipolar disorder in 80 hospitalized adolescents that were suffering from manic or mixed bipolar disorder. Having a comorbid ADHD diagnosis was occurent in 49% of the adolescents. 35% of the group had been treated with stimulants and 44% had been treated with antidepressants. "The researchers found that illness severity in hospital, as measured Read more...
Posted by at 12:25 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2005

Childhood Mania is Chronic & Severe

Children with bipolar disorder tend to have chronic episodes of mania, and their episodes are usually for long periods of time. Researchers developed a 4-year longitudinal study that examined the history of mania in 86 children with bipolar disorder. The children were at an average age of 10.8 years and were checked up on at 6, 12, 18, 24, 36, and 48 months. All of those in the study suffered from bipolar I disorder, with either manic or mixed episodes. To qualify for the study they also had to have one or more symptom of grandiosity and or elation; this Read more...
Posted by at 1:43 PM | Comments (2)

September 1, 2005

Brain Abnormalities in Pediatric Bipolar Disorder

In a study called "Cingulate Cortex Anatomical Abnormalities in Children and Adolescents With Bipolar Disorder," researchers looked at the anatomical abnormalities in the brains of children and adolescents with bipolar disorder. The study used magnetic resonance imaging to the cingulate cortex in those with pediatric bipolar disorder in comparison to mentally healthy individuals. 16 people with with pediatric bipolar disorder at an average age of 15.5 years were examined in comparison to 21 people were were mentally healthy and at an average age of 16.9 years. Three dimensional echo imaging was used and cingulate volumes were assessed. Those with pediatric Read more...
Posted by at 1:51 PM | Comments (4)

August 30, 2005

Anticonvulsants Safe for Kids With Bipolar Disorder?

Many of the drug trials for anticonvulsants and other mood stabilizers only have adults as their subjects. This creates a problem when deciding what is the safest medication to prescribe a child with bipolar disorder. This article goes over some of the risks and benefits of using anticonvulsants and other mood stabilizers in children diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Lithium has been studied the most in regards to pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD) and is surprisingly the only FDA approved mood stabilizer for kids. It is currently approved for those 12 and over, although it is used for children younger than 12. Read more...
Posted by at 12:46 PM | Comments (1)

August 24, 2005

New Kids Book on Bipolar Disorder

A new childrens book has come out that gives kids a better understanding of bipolar disorder and how to deal with the knowledge of this disorder. The authors of the book are three women named Dr. Lisa Lewandowski, 35, Shannon M.B. Trost, 35, and Kimberly Shaw-Peterson, 31. They are in the process of trying to make sure that professionals, teachers, and parents have knowledge of its existence so that children can have access to it. The book is called "Darcy Daisy and the Firefly Festival" and was published in June of 2005. The setting of the book is in a Read more...
Posted by at 2:11 PM | Comments (0)

Bipolar Disorder Increases Anxiety Disorder Risk

Adolescent bipolar disorder has been found to significantly correlate with an increased risk of having an anxiety disorder when one grows older. The researchers note that bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders are not treated the same and therefore it is important to diagnose them both and have a treatment plan that will work to alleviate both problems. This relationship was studied by examining 1,397 adolescents who were all under the age of 18. Of these, 297 were diagnosed with bipolar disorder and 1100 were diagnosed with disruptive behavior disorder. Those who had bipolar disorder were more likely to have more Read more...
Posted by at 1:09 PM | Comments (1)

July 25, 2005

MRI & Early-Onset Bipolar Disorder

Magnetic resonance imaging studies in early-onset bipolar disorder: a critical review. Frazier JA, Ahn MS, DeJong S, Bent EK, Breeze JL, Giuliano AJ. Not many studies use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study bipolar disorder in children. There are advantages to focusing on bipolar disorder in adolescents and children. Unlike adult sufferers, children suffering from bipolar disorder are less likely (if at all) to experience a larger number of mood episodes (as compared to adults), substance abuse problems, "a lengthy duration of illness", etc. Further, focusing on bipolar disorder in children may help us figure out whether abnormalities unique to Read more...
Posted by at 11:49 PM | Comments (3)

Adolescents & Bipolar Disorder

MENTAL HEALTH; U of Pennsylvania researcher finds teen mental health declining in U.S. A new article discusses the rising number of adolescents suffering from brain or mood disorders. Unfortunately, the article states that despite this rise in incidence, "getting...teens diagnosed and cared for is a challenge that is not being met...." A new book mentioned in the article discusses this issue. The book titled, "Treating and Preventing Adolescent Mental Health Disorders: What We Know and What We Don't Know - A Research Agenda for Improving the Mental Health of Our Youth," addresses the issue by "(detailing findings) in which 150 Read more...
Posted by at 10:17 AM | Comments (4)

June 19, 2005

Are Psychiatrists Over-Medicating Kids?

Many people wonder if psychiatrists are always correct in their diagnosis of childhood mental disorders. Advocates cite the fact that childhood is a difficult time of adjustment and that many of the disorders that have been diagnosed in children are actually just a result of normal childhood/teenage angst. Not that they believe that all childhood disorders are phony, rather that children at large are over-diagnosed and therefore over-medicated. Proper diagnosis and proper monitoring is required when anyone is seeing a psychiatrist, but especially for children because of the potentially harmful long-term affects that it could have on them. Part of Read more...
Posted by at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2005

Controversy over Diagnosing Children Early

The argument over diagnosing children with a mental illness as early as possible has strong pro and con arguments. Those who want children to be closely monitored for initial signs of mental illness cite the fact that the sooner one is diagnosed with a disorder, the sooner they can be treated for that disorder. But opponents to this worry over what would happen if children were forcibly tested and medicated. As the Chicago Tribune states, "Critics say that such initiatives are what is truly terrifying. Conservative and anti-government Web sites have been buzzing for months about how such plans will Read more...
Posted by at 12:19 AM | Comments (0)

June 11, 2005

Bipolar Disorder confused with ADHD in children

Suburban Chicago News came out with an interesting story recently of a young boy who was misdiagnosed with ADHD with depression. At age 6 Dakota was suffering from excessive mood swings that were leading him to often engage in violent behaviors. His mother, Jodi Thoms knew that her son needed help, but she was unsure of whether his diagnosis was correct. Jodi was sure that Dakota did not have ADHD. Eventually she found out that her son had bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is often confused with other disorders due to the fact that it has many of the same Read more...
Posted by at 10:48 PM | Comments (2)

May 27, 2005

Bipolar Patterns in Children

There is a good article in this month's "The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter" that focuses on new perspectives on development, prevention and treatment of Bipolar patterns in children. In the article by Drs. Greenspan and Glovinsky it is suggested that in their book, "Bipolar Patterns in Children: New Perspectives on Developmental Pathways and a Comprehensive Approach to Prevention and Treatment" (Greenspan and Glovinsky, 2002) they describe bipolar disorder as bipolar pattern -- using the word patterns rather than disorder in discussing bipolarity in children. "Because of the variability in the presentation of the disorder, we now know Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 7:43 PM | Comments (0)

May 2, 2005

Lithium vs Depakote in child bipolar

Lithium Vs. Depakote for Long-term Maintenance treatment in Pediatric Bipolar Disorder This study purports to be the first to look at maintenance treatments in pediatric bipolar disorder in a double-blind, randomized and controlled fashion. It is difficult to do clinical trials in children for many reasons. First, it is costly to do clinical trials and once drugs are approved, they can be used "off-label" (meaning without FDA approval) in children as long as there isn't evidence that they are unsafe in children. Also, it can be difficult to do experiments on children because of parental concerns and concerns over possible Read more...
Posted by at 7:40 PM | Comments (2)

April 27, 2005

Bipolar Disorder in Children

There is a good article in this month's Contemporary Pediatrics magazine on "The importance of recognizing a child with bipolar disorder" A brief excerpt of the article suggests that "too often, confusion clouds the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in pediatric patients. To help ensure that these children get the treatment they desperately need, pediatricians must understand the unique way that this illness manifests in the young; Bipolar Disorder." Some key points that the article makes about Bipolar disorder in children include the following: * Bipolar disorder is a chronic disorder that often begins in childhood * Most children with bipolar Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 4:36 PM | Comments (1)

April 18, 2005

Author to Speak on Child Bipolar Disorder

Noted Author to Speak on Childhood Bipolar Disorder Press Release - 4/14/2005 7:58:00 AM Paul Raeburn, the father of two children diagnosed with a mental illness and author of "Acquainted With the Night: A Parent's Quest to Understand Depression and Bipolar Disorder in His Children," will be the keynote speaker at the Families Together 10th Anniversary Conference held on May 1 and May 2, at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Albany, NY. "Paul Raeburn's appearance at the Families Together Annual Conference will provide families, youth and providers with a first person testimonial on childhood mental health disorders and Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 6:47 AM | Comments (0)

March 30, 2005

Helping a Bipolar Child

There is an excellent and detailed story outlining the challenges that one family has faced in getting help for their bipolar daughter. Highly recommended for families with children diagnosed with bipolar disorder. A Family's Painful Journey; Quest for Help for Mentally Ill Md. Child Seemingly Has No End "Dawn Rieck sat at the dining room table in her split-level house at Andrews Air Force Base, chain-smoking. She wore a distant yet acute expression, as if she were trying to read the wind. ...At that moment, her middle child, Jessica Marie Caughlin, 11, was not beating her 4-year-old brother or killing Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 10:44 PM | Comments (1)

February 22, 2005

Childhood Bipolar Guidlines

Treatment guidelines for kids with bipolar disorder published A Cincinnati Children's Kowatch led effort Early diagnosis and treatment is important for children and adolescents with bipolar disorder, according to new treatment guidelines. The guidelines were sponsored by the Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (CABF), a national parent advocacy group, and were drafted by a scientific consortium led by Robert Kowatch, M.D., director of the Pediatric Mood Disorders Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. "These new guidelines were formulated by a group of leading experts in child psychiatry and are the most up-to-date and comprehensive set of guidelines for the Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 8:24 PM | Comments (3)

October 15, 2004

Depression different for Kids

The Wall Street Journal reported today that an increasing number of depression research studies are suggesting that depression in young people isn't simply a "scaled-down version of depression in adults. The symptoms and the responses to antidepressants are different, indicating different biological activity. Teen brains, scientists are finding, are very different than adult brains." Rather than feeling deeply and chronically unhappy, teens diagnosed with depression feel bored, moody and irritable. ""It isn't the consistently down, sad, depressed feeling that adults have," says Carol Glod of McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., who is leading brain-imaging studies of depression in young people." Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 8:36 AM | Comments (1)

September 21, 2004

Teens and Mental Illness

Teens and Mental Illness This week NPR had a good program on Teens and Mental Illness. Mental illness in kids affects the whole family. Parents and their children have to balance medical treatments, therapy and stigma with the not-so-simple act of growing up. Excerpt from the program: "Finding the right treatment for mental illness is never easy. For parents who have children with mental health problems, deciding what to do is even thornier. Picking the right therapist, determining whether a child needs medication takes time. Many kids are resistant to intervention, and parents often struggle to identify the warning signs. Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 11:51 PM | Comments (1)