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Tag: Medication

thebalancedmindfoundation.org Expert Chat with Dr. Mani Pavuluri, Author of "What Works for Bipolar Kids"

Nanci - The Balanced Mind Parent Network   
Dr. Pavuluri recently published a book for parents "What Works for Bipolar Kids" that is an excellent resource. Dr. Pavuluri, would you like to start out by telling us a little about your new book? 

Mani Pavuluri MD   
Yes I hope you like it! I wanted the book “What Works for Bipolar Kids” to be most practical, and help you with day to day struggles, in a way that you can apply for yourself, and take care of yourself as parents, as you are in it for the long haul! I want to hold your hand through this book as I talk to you! 
And it tells you about school issues, home, marriage, kids, other kids, friendships and medication and treatment and so on!  

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The Balanced Mind Parent Network 2008 Expert Chat with Janet Wozniak, M.D.

What are your feelings on stability for kids with BP--what's the best you have seen and how much break-through symptoms should we expect?

Janet Wozniak, MD   
Stability is difficult to achieve. There are no studies addressing this, most medication and treatment studies are too short term. In clinical practice, we are always rolling with the punches. Children are a moving target with changes occurring due to age, course of illness and stressors. Usually we must settle for a reduction of symptoms, a decrease in frequency and intensity. If we try to stamp out symptoms 100% we run into med side effects. 

This is a common question in follow up visits: Should we try for better control with unknown side effects or unknown new med effects? Or should we settle for what we have? The answer is guided by how impairing the current state of affairs is. If a child is really struggling, we try to address better mood control or treatment of co-morbid conditions.

If a child is on the highest amount of Abilify or any other medication, and the mood is still not stabilized, would you add another type of medication or try something new altogether?

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The Balanced Mind Parent Network Expert Chat with Ellen Leibenluft, M.D., of NIMH

Nanci - The Balanced Mind Parent Network 
I'm very pleased to introduce our guest expert today, Dr. Ellen Leibenluft. Dr. Leibenluft received her B.A. from Yale University in 1974 and an M.D. from Stanford University in 1978. After completing residency training at Georgetown University Hospital, she served on the faculty there as director of the psychiatric inpatient unit and day hospital. She then came to the NIMH, where she conducted research on bipolar disorder. In particular, her publications focus on rapid cycling bipolar disorder (a severe form of the illness) and on the role of the sleep-wake cycle in the illness. She has also written and spoken widely on gender differences in the prevalence and symptomatology of mood disorders. She is now actively involved in research on bipolar disorder in children and adolescents, with a particular emphasis on differences between children and adults in the presentation of the illness; neural mechanisms underlying the symptoms of the illness; and the development of new treatment strategies for early-onset bipolar disorder.

Nanci - The Balanced Mind Parent Network 
Dr. Leibenluft, would you like to start out by talking about the research that you are doing with the NIMH?

Dr. Ellen Leibenluft

First, I want to say that it’s a pleasure to be here "chatting" with you all. Our research is focused on the brain mechanisms that underlie bipolar disorder in children, and also very severe irritability. We hope that these studies will move us closer to better treatments and even prevention of the illness. We are also interested in children with have a sibling or parent with bipolar disorder, and therefore are at risk for the illness. 

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The Balanced Mind Expert Chat: David Miklowitz, Ph.D, Author of Bipolar Disorder: A Family Focused Treatment Approach

Nanci-The Balanced Mind Parent Network
I am very pleased to welcome today’s guest, David Miklowitz, PhD.. He is the author of “Bipolar Disorder: A Family Focused Treatment Approach”, “The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide” and “The Bipolar Teen: What You Can Do to Help Your Child and Your Family” as well as numerous research articles. Dr. Miklowitz’ research focuses on family environmental factors and family psychoeducational treatments for adult-onset and childhood-onset bipolar disorder.

Nanci-The Balanced Mind Parent Network 
Dr. Miklowitz would you like to make any opening remarks to our group?

David Miklowitz PhD
It's a pleasure to be here. I'm ready whenever you are - just to say I'm a big fan of The Balanced Mind Parent Network!

Nanci-The Balanced Mind Parent Network
Thank you! Perhaps you could start out by talking a little about your new book “The Bipolar Teen”?

David Miklowitz PhD
Sure - we just published a new book called "The Bipolar Teen." This book is intended for parents of the 12-18 set who are often struggling not only with the disorder but trying to distinguish being a teen from being a bipolar teen. The book focuses on coping strategies, especially those to use when a kid is cycling into mania or depression

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thebalancedmindfoundation.org Expert Chat with Eric Youngstrom, Ph.D.

My question for the doctor is: How do you know if a medication(s) is "good enough" and you should just stick to it (them) or if it is worth trying others to try to get things even better?

Eric Youngstrom PhD 
Thanks for an easy question as a "warm up"! ;-)  I think that the most important thing is good communication with the provider. The biggest problem for the provider-family alliance is avoiding piling on too many medications too quickly -- everything that gets added may help with multiple symptoms (not just what it was selected for); and everything also carries the possibility of unintended side effects. So the treatment parameters and algorithms start with one med, then switch or add one. Polypharmacy is tempting because families need help and want it quick, but going slower and having excellent communication may prevent more complications.

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