• 06 SEP 07
    • 0

    #795: Surge in youth bipolar disorder

    Here could be a worthwhile avenue of research on mobile phone use by young people. Could mobile phone use be a factor in bipolar disorder and/or should it be considered in treatment? Perhaps the apparent “surge” may be just due to over-diagnosing or better reporting as mark Olfson suggests below but the advice of the Russian National Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (RNCNIRP) should be considered. Not only to they advise against mobile phone use by children but they specifically state that people with neurological conditions should not use phones as it could worsen the symptoms. However, the problem Yuri Grigoriev mentioned to me at the 2004 Mobile phone conference in Moscow is that this age group are so addicted to their phones, preventing their use would cause depression and withdraw symptoms.

    Interesting that parents are so worried about drug addiction with their children but are oblivious to the same thing when it comes to their kids using mobile phones.



    From World Science

    Surge in youth bipolar disorder diagnoses seen


    Sept. 4, 2007
    Courtesy NIH/National Institute of Mental Health
    and World Science staff

    The num­ber of vis­its to a doc­tor”s of­fice that led to a di­ag­no­sis of bi­po­lar dis­or­der in youths has risen 40-fold in the U.S. over the last dec­ade, re­search­ers have found.

    The surge probably re­flects a “re­cent ten­den­cy to over­di­ag­nose bi­po­lar dis­or­der in young peo­ple, a cor­rec­tion of his­tor­i­cal un­der-recognition, or a com­bina­t­ion of these,” said Mark Olf­son of Co­lum­bia Un­ivers­ity”s New York State Psy­chi­at­ric In­sti­tute in New York, a mem­ber of the re­search team. “Clearly, we need to learn more” about how doctors are di­ag­nosing the dis­or­der in chil­dren and ado­les­cents.

    Bi­po­lar dis­or­der is a men­tal ill­ness char­ac­ter­ized by cy­cles of de­pres­sion and ela­t­ion, or ma­nia.

    Al­so over the past dec­ade, the num­ber of vis­its by adults re­sult­ing in a bi­po­lar dis­or­der di­ag­no­sis al­most dou­bled, Ol­son”s team found, adding that the cause of this is al­so un­clear. The study is pub­lished in the Sep­tem­ber is­sue of the re­search journal Ar­chives of Gen­er­al Psy­chi­a­try.

    Doc­tors face tough ques­tions when de­cid­ing on treat­ment for young peo­ple, Olf­son and col­leagues said. Guide­lines for treat­ing adults with bi­po­lar dis­or­der are well-doc­u­ment­ed, but few stud­ies have looked at the effects of psy­chi­at­ric med­ica­t­ions for treat­ing chil­dren and ado­les­cents with the dis­or­der. De­spite this lim­it­ed ev­i­dence, the re­search­ers found si­m­i­lar treat­ment pat­terns for both age groups in terms of psy­cho­ther­a­py and pre­scrip­tion med­ica­t­ions.

    Of the med­ica­t­ions stud­ied, mood sta­bi­liz­ers, in­clud­ing lith­i­um, were pre­scribed in two-thirds of the vis­its by youth and adults, the team found. An­ti­con­vul­sant med­ica­t­ions, such as val­proate (De­pakote) and car­ba­mazepine (Tegre­tol), were the most fre­quently pre­scribed type of mood sta­bi­liz­ers.

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