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NIMH Pages About Bipolar Disorder

Overview of Bipolar Disorder…

Find current clinical trials on Bipolar Disorder… 

Publications About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents
Cover image for the Bipolar Children Adolescents publication.

This booklet is a guide for parents who think their child may have symptoms of bipolar disorder, or parents whose child has been diagnosed.

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Bipolar Disorder in Adults
Cover image for Bipolar Disorder in Adults publication.

This booklet discusses bipolar disorder in adults. For information on bipolar disorder in children and adolescents, see the NIMH booklet, Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents.

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Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents (Fact Sheet)
Photo of an adolescent male.

A fact sheet that describes the development in our understanding of how bipolar disorder affects children and adolescents and the direction of future research.

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Bipolar Disorder

A detailed booklet that describes bipolar disorder symptoms, causes, and treatments, with information on getting help and coping.

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Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens (Easy to Read)
Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens

An easy-to-read booklet on Bipolar Disorder in children and teens that explains what it is, when it starts and how to get help.

En Español

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Science News About Bipolar Disorder

Brain Region Singled Out for Social Memory, Possible Therapeutic Target for Select Brain Disorders

Science Update

highlighted CA2 region of hippocampus in mouse brain

The hippocampus houses learning and memory—specifically the storage of knowledge of who, what, where, and when. Using a special transgenic mouse, researchers have now pinpointed a hippocampal region called CA2 that is important for social memory, the ability of animal to recognize another of the same species. Understanding this region could be useful in understanding and treating disorders characterized by altered social behaviors such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism.

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New Data Reveal Extent of Genetic Overlap Between Major Mental Disorders

Press Release

SNP-based Coheritibilities

The largest genome-wide study of its kind has determined how much five major mental illnesses are traceable to the same common inherited genetic variations.

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Ketamine Cousin Rapidly Lifts Depression Without Side Effects

Science Update

GLX-13 Thumbnail

NMDA or glutamate receptor modulators as antidepressants have come of age. Human clinical studies demonstrated that ketamine can ward off depressive symptoms within 2 hours of administration and last for several days. Yet serious side effects are attached to this drug, including excessive sleepiness, hallucinations, and substance abuse behavior.

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Flu in Pregnancy May Quadruple Child’s Risk for Bipolar Disorder

Press Release

H1N1 influenza virus particles

Pregnant mothers’ exposure to the flu has been linked to a nearly 4-fold increased risk for bipolar disorder in their adult child.

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NIH Study Shows People with Serious Mental Illnesses Can Lose Weight

Press Release

project achieve thumbnail

Losing weight is challenging for everyone. It can be particularly difficult for someone with a serious mental illness. An NIMH-funded clinical study proves that a modified diet and exercise program can work for people with serious mental illnesses. Participants lost 7 pounds more than controls—and continued to lose weight.

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Posts About Bipolar Disorder

Celebrating Science

By Thomas Insel on March 21, 2014

At a recent awards dinner, Research!America honored patients who worked with researchers to find cures for disease; Dr. Insel shows what we can learn from these collaborations and gives an example of how genetic research can lead to effective treatment.

Antipsychotics: Taking the Long View

By Thomas Insel on August 28, 2013

Antipsychotics help people through the crisis of acute psychosis, but the long-term management of chronic mental illness is another matter. It appears that what we currently call “schizophrenia” may comprise disorders with quite different trajectories. For some people, remaining on medication long-term might impede a full return to wellness. For others, discontinuing medication can be disastrous.

Getting Serious About Mental Illnesses

By Thomas Insel on July 31, 2013

Dr. Insel explains the nuances of the term, “serious mental illness.”

NIMH’s Top 10 Research Advances of 2011

By Thomas Insel on December 23, 2011

Dr. Insel shares NIMH’s Top 10 Research Advances for 2011.

Psychiatric Genetics: More Pieces of the Puzzle

By Thomas Insel on October 04, 2011

Results of the two largest studies of their kind, to date, have identified new common gene variants associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The results implicate specific pathways and hold promise for development of new treatments.

Meeting Summaries About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents: New Data to Inform Classification

Washington, DC

NIMH convened a working group of 24 invited experts to present and discuss data to resolve methodological discrepancies in the approaches used to diagnose bipolar disorder in children and adolescents.

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Director’s Updates About Bipolar Disorder

NIMH Perspective on Diagnosing and Treating Bipolar Disorder in Children

A recently published research paper (September 2007, Archives of General Psychiatry) reported a 40-fold increase in the rate of diagnosing bipolar disorder in youth over the past decade.

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NIMH Topics