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  CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRY 

Minerva Psichiatrica 2011 March;52(1):21-35

Copyright © 2011 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Treatment of pediatric bipolar disorder: a review

Washburn J. J. 1, 2, West A. E. 3, Heil J. A. 1

1 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA 2 Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital, Chicago, IL, USA 3 Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL, USA


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The aim of this study was to review the diagnosis and the pharmacologic and psychosocial interventions for pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD). A comprehensive literature review of studies discussing the diagnosis and treatment of PBD was conducted. A context for understanding controversies and difficulties in the diagnosis of PBD is provided. An evidence-based assessment protocol for PBD is reviewed. The evidence for the following three categories of pharmacologic interventions are reviewed: Lithium, antiepileptics, and second generation antipsychotics. Algorithms for medication decisions are briefly reviewed. Existing psychosocial treatments and the evidence for those treatments are also reviewed. Despite recent developments in understanding the phenomenology of PBD and in identifying pharmacologic and psychosocial interventions, critical gaps remain.

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