University of Illinois at Chicago researchers are comparing two drugs used to treat pediatric bipolar disorder patients to evaluate how the drugs affect brain function in children with the disorder.
"More and more clinicians are using second generation anti-psychotics to treat children with bipolar disorder, but there are no randomized controlled trials of these medications," said Dr. Mani Pavuluri, director of the Pediatric Mood Disorders Clinic at UIC and principal investigator of the study. The study is innovative because it was designed so that all kids receive active, yet double-blinded, treatment and brain function testing, Pavuluri said.
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression, is characterized by extreme changes in mood. Patients may alternate between deep depression and abnormal and persistent euphoria, or mania. In children, the disorder is associated with sexual promiscuity, failure in school, and suicide. It is often misdiagnosed and treated unsuccessfully.
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