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Daily 'Light Therapy' May Help Some With Bipolar Disorder

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 12, 2017 – People afflicted with bipolar disorder may find some relief from depression with daily doses of light therapy, new research suggests. With light therapy, people spend time sitting in close proximity to a light-emitting box – in this case, bright white light – with exposures increasing from 15 minutes per day to a full hour over a period of weeks. The study found that within a month the therapy helped treat depression in people with bipolar disorder. "Effective treatments for bipolar depression are very limited," noted lead researcher Dr. Dorothy Sit. "This gives us a new treatment option for bipolar patients that we know gets us a robust response within four to six weeks," said Sit, who is associate professor of psychiatry at Northwestern University in Chicago. According to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, bipolar disorder "is a brain and behavior ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Mania, Zyprexa, Olanzapine, Dysthymia, Symbyax, Valproic Acid, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Zyprexa Zydis, Cyclothymic Disorder, Depakene, Stavzor, Zyprexa Intramuscular, Fluoxetine/Olanzapine, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Depacon, Zyprexa Relprevv

Poor Sleep May Worsen Suicidal Thoughts

Posted 28 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 28, 2017 – Sleep problems may provide early clues about worsening suicidal thoughts in at-risk young adults as well as a potential way to intervene, a new study suggests. "Suicide is the tragic outcome of psychiatric illness interacting with multiple biological, psychological and social risk factors," said lead author Rebecca Bernert. She is a suicidologist and assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences from Stanford University Medical School. "Sleep disturbances stand apart from other risk factors because they are visible as a warning sign, yet non-stigmatizing and highly treatable. This is why we believe they may represent an important treatment target in suicide prevention," she said in a university news release. How could sleep potentially prevent a suicide? "Sleep is a barometer of our well-being, and directly impacts how we feel the next day. We ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Fatigue, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, Mania, Borderline Personality Disorder, Dysthymia, Psychiatric Disorders, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Drowsiness, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Cyclothymic Disorder

Study Cites Top Reasons Young Autism Patients Are Hospitalized

Posted 16 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 16, 2017 – Having a mood disorder significantly boosts the odds that young people with autism will be hospitalized for psychiatric care, according to a new study. People with autism are often hospitalized when their behavior problems overwhelm their caregivers, the study authors said. "The demand is far greater than the number of clinicians, the number of programs and the number of beds we have," said study leader Giulia Righi. She is an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior research at Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School. Righi's team reviewed records of 473 people with autism, aged 4 to 20. The risk of hospitalization was seven times higher for those with a mood disorder. In addition, sleep problems more than doubled the chances of a hospital stay. And those with high scores on a scale of autism symptom severity had a slightly increased risk, ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Social Anxiety Disorder, Mania, Borderline Personality Disorder, Autism, Psychiatric Disorders, Asperger Syndrome, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Cyclothymic Disorder, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

Heart Risks to Fetus From Bipolar Drug May Be Lower Than Thought

Posted 8 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 8, 2017 – Lithium, a drug commonly used to treat bipolar disorder, is linked to an increased risk of heart malformations in babies born to women taking the drug during pregnancy. But new research says the risk is smaller than once believed. In a study of more than 1 million pregnant women, researchers found that those who took lithium during the first trimester of pregnancy had a twofold increase in the risk of heart malformations compared to women who didn't take the drug. That works out to about 1 additional case of heart problems per 100 births, the researchers said. "This association was dose dependent," said lead researcher Dr. Elisabetta Patorno, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. The higher the dose of the drug, the greater the chance of heart malformations, the researchers said. "The size of the association was substantially smaller ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Lithium, Mania, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Cyclothymic Disorder, Lithobid, Eskalith, Eskalith-CR, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Lithotabs, Lithonate

Brain Scans May Shed Light on Bipolar Disorder-Suicide Risk

Posted 31 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 31, 2017 – Among teens and young adults with bipolar disorder, researchers have linked brain differences to an increased suicide risk. About half of people with bipolar disorder – marked by extreme mood swings – attempt suicide and as many as one in five dies by suicide, the study authors said. For the new study, teens and young adults with bipolar disorder underwent brain scans. Compared with those who had not attempted suicide, those who had attempted suicide had slightly less volume and activity in areas of the brain that regulate emotion and impulses, and in the white matter that connects those areas. "The findings suggest that the frontal cortex is not working as well as it should to regulate the circuitry," said study senior author Dr. Hilary Blumberg. "That can lead to more extreme emotional pain, difficulties in generating alternate solutions to suicide and ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Major Depressive Disorder, Seroquel, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Abilify, Pristiq, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Effexor XR, Escitalopram

Demi Lovato Wants to Change the Face of Mental Illness

Posted 1 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30, 2016 – Since her 2008 breakthrough role in the Disney Channel musical "Camp Rock," singer and actress Demi Lovato has released five best-selling albums and a slew of hit singles. Numerous music awards have followed, as has a stint as a judge on the TV megahit "The X Factor." But for the 44 million American adults struggling with mental illness, it's the 24-year-old's decision to share her own mental health battles that may rank as her most meaningful achievement to date. "I've been very, very open about my story," said Lovato. "I was diagnosed when I was 18 with bipolar disorder," a condition shared by roughly 13 million Americans. "And ever since, I've been doing whatever I could to raise awareness about mental illness, and mental health, in America." Since 2015, Lovato has served as the public face of the "Be Vocal" initiative. It's a campaign that brings together ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Major Depressive Disorder, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Pristiq, Bupropion, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Viibryd, Effexor XR

Kids With Bipolar Disorder More Likely to Abuse Drugs, Alcohol: Study

Posted 16 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 16, 2016 – For some teens with bipolar disorder, the risk that they will abuse alcohol and drugs may increase as they get older, a new study suggests. The research included 105 young people with bipolar disorder and 98 without the illness (the "control" group). Their average age was 14 when they first enrolled in the study. Bipolar disorder causes unusual shifts in mood, energy and activity levels, and also affects the ability to carry out everyday tasks. Initially, 34 percent of the young teens with bipolar disorder also had "substance use disorder," which means they had a problem with drug or alcohol abuse. Only 4 percent of the kids in the control group abused alcohol or drugs, the study showed. In addition, the researchers found, almost one-quarter of kids with bipolar disorder smoked cigarettes, compared to just 4 percent of the comparison group. Five years after the ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Opiate Dependence, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Opiate Withdrawal, Smoking, Mania, Smoking Cessation, Drug Dependence, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Alcohol Dependence, Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Cyclothymic Disorder, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Executive Function Disorder

'Managing' Elderly Patients Without Powerful Antipsychotics

Posted 26 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 25, 2016 – About 25 percent of dementia patients in U.S. nursing homes are still quieted with risky antipsychotic medications. Now, a small study suggests that managing these difficult patients, instead of medicating them, could obtain better results. "Drugs have a place, but should not be first-line treatments. They don't work well, and there are side effects," said study author Dr. Henry Brodaty, a professor of aging and mental health at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Antipsychotic drugs such as Risperdal (risperidone), Abilify (aripiprazole) and Seroquel (quetiapine) are approved to treat serious psychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. But in seniors, they're often used to calm aggressive or violent behavior linked to dementia. "They're basically a sedative," said Dean Hartley, director of science initiatives with the ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Seroquel, Abilify, Schizophrenia, Mania, Latuda, Risperidone, Zyprexa, Schizoaffective Disorder, Risperdal, Dementia, Quetiapine, Geodon, Saphris, Seroquel XR, Alzheimer's Disease, Olanzapine, Invega, Clozapine, Rexulti

Bipolar Diagnosis May Take Up to 6 Years

Posted 25 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 25, 2016 – People with bipolar disorder may face a long wait from when their symptoms start to the time they get a proper diagnosis. In fact, a new study reports the average delay is six years. That lost time can result in greater frequency and severity of episodes of the psychiatric condition, the researchers said. "While some patients, particularly those who present with psychosis, probably do receive timely treatment, the diagnosis of the early phase of bipolar disorder can be difficult," study leader Matthew Large, a professor psychiatry at the University of New South Wales, Australia, said in a school news release. "This is because mental health clinicians are sometimes unable to distinguish the depressed phase of bipolar disorder from other types of depression," he added. The new research reviewed the results of 27 past studies. Those studies included more than 9,400 ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Mania, Dysthymia, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Cyclothymic Disorder, Diagnosis and Investigation, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

Lithium Beats Newer Meds for Bipolar Disorder, Study Finds

Posted 12 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 12, 2016 – Lithium outperforms newer mood stabilizers in the treatment of bipolar disorder, a new study has found. Patients taking lithium had lower rates of self-harm and unintentional injury compared to those taking other bipolar drugs, such as valproate (Depacon, Depakote), olanzapine (Zyprexa) or quetiapine (Seroquel), said lead researcher Joseph Hayes. He is a fellow of psychiatry at University College London. "This is important because people with bipolar disorder are 15 times more likely to die by suicide and six times more likely to die by accidental injury than the general population," Hayes explained. People taking one of the alternative mood stabilizers were 40 percent more likely to harm themselves compared to patients on lithium, Hayes and his colleagues found. And people on valproate or quetiapine were 32 percent to 34 percent more likely to fall victim to ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Seroquel, Lithium, Mania, Zyprexa, Quetiapine, Seroquel XR, Olanzapine, Dysthymia, Symbyax, Valproic Acid, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Zyprexa Zydis, Cyclothymic Disorder, Depakene, Lithobid, Eskalith, Eskalith-CR

Brain Wiring Changes Might Help Guard Against Bipolar Disorder

Posted 6 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 5, 2016 – Naturally occurring brain wiring changes might help prevent bipolar disorder in people who have a high genetic risk for the mental illness, a new study suggests. The discovery about these brain wiring changes could help efforts to develop better treatments for the disorder, according to Mount Sinai Hospital researchers in New York City. People with bipolar disorder experience severe swings in mood, energy and activity levels, and the ability to perform daily tasks. Genetics are a major risk factor, and people with a parent or sibling with bipolar disorder are much more likely to develop it than those with no family history of the mental illness. Researchers used functional MRI to monitor the brains of bipolar disorder patients, their siblings who did not have the illness (resilient siblings) and unrelated healthy volunteers. The bipolar disorder patients and ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Mania, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Cyclothymic Disorder, Diagnosis and Investigation, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Head Imaging

Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Play Role in Bipolar Disorder: Study

Posted 5 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 4, 2015 – A small study suggests there may be a link between levels of omega-3 fatty acids and bipolar disorder. Researchers compared 27 people with bipolar disorder and 31 people without the mental illness. Those with bipolar disorder had lower levels of certain omega-3 fatty acids that can cross the blood-brain barrier, the study authors found. Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in communication between brain cells, and fatty acids are a major player in the immune and inflammatory systems, the researchers said. "Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can shift the balance of inflammation, which we think is important in bipolar disorder," study leader Erika Saunders, an associate professor and chairwoman of psychiatry at Penn State College of Medicine in College Park, Pa., said in a school news release. Foods such as fish, vegetable oils, nuts, flax seeds and flaxseed ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Mania, Dietary Supplementation, Fish Oil, Lovaza, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation and Deficiency, Omega-3, Cyclothymic Disorder, Omacor, Omega 3-6-9 Complex, EPA Fish Oil, Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, MaxEPA, Marine Lipid Concentrate, Restora, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Animi-3, Doxycycline/Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, TherOmega Sport, Super-EPA

Too Few Psychiatric Patients Screened for Diabetes: Study

Posted 11 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 11, 2015 – Despite guidelines, diabetes screening rates are low among adults with severe mental illness who take antipsychotic medications, researchers find. In a new California study, fewer than one-third of mental health patients were screened for type 2 diabetes, despite an elevated risk for the disorder, the researchers reported in the Nov. 9 online edition of the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Treatment with antipsychotic drugs contributes to this risk, the researchers explained. This class of drugs includes clozapine (Clozaril), olanzapine (Zyprexa) and risperidone (Risperdal), among others. Anyone taking them should undergo diabetes screening every year, the American Diabetes Association says. These drugs often cause weight gain, a contributing factor to type 2 diabetes, the study authors noted in a journal news release. "To improve care for persons with serious ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Diabetes, Type 2, Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, Mania, Paranoid Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Binge Eating Disorder, Agitation, Psychosis, Dysthymia

Research Gives Clues to Why Some Benefit More From Drug for Bipolar Disorder

Posted 28 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 28, 2015 – Some people with bipolar disorder do not respond as well as others to the standby drug lithium, and a new study hints at why that may be so. The research also brings scientists closer to understanding the origins of the psychiatric illness, which causes severe mood swings that include emotional highs and lows. Specifically, the brain cells of people with bipolar disorder seem to be more sensitive than brain cells of people without the mental illness, the small study suggests. "Researchers hadn't all agreed that there was a cellular cause to bipolar disorder," study senior author Rusty Gage, a professor in the genetics lab at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., said in an institute news release. "So our study is important validation that the [brain] cells of these patients really are different." Gage and his colleagues took skin cells from six people with ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Lithium, Mania, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Cyclothymic Disorder, Lithobid, Eskalith, Eskalith-CR, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Lithotabs, Lithonate

Standby Drug for Adult Bipolar Disorder May Be Safe, Effective in Children

Posted 12 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 12, 2015 – A new study suggests that lithium – for years a go-to medication for adults with bipolar disorder – may be safely used in children with the condition, at least for the short term. As the researchers explained, lithium has long been the drug of choice for treating adults with bipolar disorder, which is characterized by extreme mood swings. The condition affects about 1 percent of teens and is a leading cause of disability in the teenage years. Bipolar disorder typically begins in the teens or young adulthood, the researchers noted. While lithium is a standby medication for adult patients, it has "never been rigorously studied in children," lead researcher Dr. Robert Findling, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, said in a university news release. To try and close that research gap, ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Lithium, Mania, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Cyclothymic Disorder, Lithobid, Eskalith, Eskalith-CR, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Lithotabs, Lithonate

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lithium, lamotrigine, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, divalproex sodium