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Tag: schizophrenia


Evidence for Abilify (Aripiprazole) in Maintenance of Bipolar Disorder Questioned

The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) approved use of Abilify for maintenance of bipolar disorder in 2005.  But a recent article published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine (Tsai, et al) looks critically at the science behind the decision to approve Abilify.  The results were one blind, randomized trial sponsored by the pharmaceutical company that makes Abilify, Bristol Meyers Squibb.  Article exposes flaws in trial to show we currently do not have enough evidence to know whether or not Abilify is effective in the maintenance of bipolar disorder.  Article also features step-by-step advice for people currently taking Abilify.


NIMH Outreach Partnership Meeting Presentations - March 2011

The Balanced Mind Parent Network is an national partner with the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program and attends their annual conference each spring to learn about the latest research and program development supported by NIMH funding.  We are pleased to share the pPresentation slides from the National Institute of Mental Health Outreach Conference held in Houston, TX March 24 - 27, 2011.


Translation of Science to Service: Jean A. Frazier, MD, University of Massachusetts

This paper is Jean Frazier and David Kennedy's contribution to The Balanced Mind Parent Network's series, Translation of the Scientific Evolution of Pediatric Bipolar Disorder.  The series presents the leading researchers' contribution to the field.  It describes the programmatic approach and direction of the labs, the seminal questions which drive their research, a listing of their most important findings and a summary of how their work impacts the field.   The Balanced Mind Parent Network is very grateful to Drs. Frazier and Kennedy for sharing their vision with our readers.

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Translation of Science to Service: Gabrielle Carlson, MD, Stony Brook University School of Medicine

This paper is Gaye Carlson's contribution to The Balanced Mind Parent Network's series, Translation of the Scientific Evolution of Pediatric Bipolar Disorder.  The series presents the leading researchers' contribution to the field.  It describes the programmatic approach and direction of the labs, the seminal questions which drive their research, a listing of their most important findings and a summary of how their work impacts the field.  The Balanced Mind Parent Network is very grateful to Dr. Carlson for sharing her insights with our readers.

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Reefer Madness: Marijuana Harms At-Risk Kids

The 1936 propaganda film, “Reefer Madness”, urged parents to warn their kids that smoking marijuana caused reckless driving, sexual assault, violent behavior, permanent psychosis, and suicide. Dire outcomes and lurid scenes are dramatized to the hilt. The movie flopped, and was forgotten until its re-discovery by gleeful advocates of marijuana legalization in the 1970s. Its success as a camp hit on college campuses helped launch New Line Cinema and led to a musical on Broadway, with a film version due later this year.

Some might consider all this harmless fun but a series of compelling studies published in recent years shows that cannabis is an addictive substance. Some individuals do suffer harm from smoking pot— particularly youth who already have mild psychotic symptoms or have relatives with mood disorders with psychosis or schizophrenia (placing them at high risk genetically for these conditions). These findings are coming to light just as liberalization of marijuana laws is gaining ground, a change sure to ease access to marijuana. This may send the signal that pot is considered relatively benign by the authorities and further tempt risk-loving and impulsive adolescents.  It appears from these studies that marijuana can do serious harm to our children with bipolar disorder and their well siblings, and is far more likely to harm them than their peers.

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