Treatment of pediatric bipolar disorder: A review

J. J. Washburn, A. E. West, J. A. Heil

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-35
Number of pages15
JournalMinerva Psichiatrica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Child
  • Mental disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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