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2009 Chat with Ellen Leibenluft, M.D.

We are very excited to have Ellen Leibenluft, MD as our guest for this months’ The Balanced Mind Parent Network expert chat. Dr. Leibenluft is a Senior Investigator and Chief of the Section on Bipolar Spectrum Disorders with the National Institute on Mental Health. Her research focuses on the brain mechanisms involved in bipolar disorder in children and adolescents and on diagnosis. If you are interested in participating in an NIMH research studies or just want more information, be sure to visit this webpage http://www.thebalancedmind.org/connect/find and search for "Research Studies"  or call the recruitment line phone number:  301-496-8381.

Ellen Leibenluft MD    
It's a pleasure to be with you all.

Dr. Leibenluft, it's been a year and half since we last chatted with you, would you like to update us on what's going on at the NIMH.

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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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For Depressed Teens, Psychotherapy Combined with Antidepressant Medication Most Effective

Source: Press Release, National Institute of Mental Health

A combination of psychotherapy and antidepressant medication appears to be the most effective treatment for adolescents with major depressive disorder-more than medication alone or psychotherapy alone, according to results from a major clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The study was published in the October 2007 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

The long-term results of the Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS) found that when adolescents received fluoxetine (Prozac) alone or in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) over the course of 36 weeks, they recovered faster than those who were receiving CBT alone.


Press Release: Families of Children With Bipolar Disorder Call For More Research

The The Balanced Mind Parent Network (The Balanced Mind Parent Network) calls for further research on pediatric bipolar disorder following the release of a study that reveals a 40-fold increase in the diagnosis of this devastating illness in the past ten years. The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry [Sept 2007], is a national wake-up call: “Children have been suffering from bipolar disorder all along, just like adults, but science has recognized this only for the past decade or so.  In the 21st century, children are being diagnosed and treated when they were previously dismissed as 'bad seeds' or the product of poor parenting,” states Susan Resko, M.M., Executive Director of The Balanced Mind Parent Network.   

NIMH News 2007

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