Two different subtypes of early onset unspecified bipolar disorder (USBD)

The first subtype is classical BP NOS (Not Otherwise Specified) having all the characteristics of full-blown bipolar disorder except for only having brief durations of mania and responding to conventional treatment. The second is what is now called Temperature and Sleep Dysregulation Disorder (TSDD) and was formerly described by D. Papolos as the Fear of Harm (FOH) syndrome, and requires a different treatment approach.

Clinicians should be alert to unique symptoms in children who might have TSDD as such a diagnosis would lead to a unconventional treatment paradigm. We emphasize the importance of specifically asking parents about evidence of over heating (red face and red ears) and high tolerance for cold (going outside markedly under-dressed) and the presence of fear of sleep and horrific nightmares, as these may lead one to consider the diagnosis of TSDD.

If these two novel aspects (temperature and sleep dysregulation) occur in the presentation of a highly fearful and behaviorally dysregulated child with bipolar-like symptoms, these may lead to the consideration of an unconventional treatment paradigm. It utilizes 1) high dose lithium; 2) clonidine and other practical approaches to achieve cooling and relieve over heating; and 3) ascending doses of intranasal ketamine (as described by Papolos et al 2013; 2018). This may be of considerable clinical importance as a large group of children with this unique presentation respond very poorly to conventional treatments for bipolar disorder and remain highly impaired and dysfunction throughout their childhood and adolescence.

If these children instead are treated with: lithium (to achieve blood levels of 1.0 meq/L or higher); clonidine (0.1- 0.3mg IR and 0.1mg ER at noon and HS) and other practical ways to achieve cooling; followed by ascending intranasal doses of ketamine (starting at 20mg and increasing toward 80-260mg/day, repeated every 2-3 days), marked improvement can be achieved. This occurs in conjunction with ketamine’s positive effects on fear and aggressive behaviors in association with its ability to reduce core body temperature.

We highlight this potential alternative treatment approach as long term positive effects have been achieved with it in open case series (Papolos et al 2013; 2018 ). The efficacy of this treatment approach has not been validated in controlled clinical trials, but we believe wider recognition of the two subtypes of USBD– BPNOS and TSDD,– will lead to more systematic research on treatment. Actively looking for the unique features of TSDD and pursuing its unconventional treatment may lead to long term positive effects in a child previously viewed as having an intractable psychiatric illness.

Lithium is a Lifesaver in Bipolar Disorder

Batya Swift Yasgur MA, LSW reported in Medscape Medical News on November 28, 2022 that “Mood stabilizers protect against suicide and all-cause mortality in patients with bipolar disorder (BD), including natural mortality, with lithium emerging as the most protective agent, new research suggests.

Investigators led by Pao-Huan Chen, MD, of the Department of Psychiatry, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taiwan, evaluated the association between the use of mood stabilizers and the risks for all-cause mortality, suicide, and natural mortality in over 25,000 patients with BD and found that those with BD had higher mortality.

However, they also found that patients with BD had a significantly decreased adjusted 5-year risk of dying from any cause, suicide, and natural causes. Lithium was associated with the largest risk reduction compared with the other mood stabilizers.

Intermittent theta burst magnetic stimulation (iTBS) is FDA approved.

As reported in Psych. News:?The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the SAINT Neuromodulation System for the treatment of refractory depression in adults, Magnus Medical Inc. (the manufacturer of the product)?announced?Tuesday. SAINT is a?modified form of transcranial magnetic stimulation?(TMS) that compresses weeks of conventional TMS therapy into just five days”. ?Regular TMS takes 20-30 minutes per daily session while iTBS takes about 5 minutes and thus can be applied many times in a single day. ?”As demonstrated in a clinical trial?published?in?The American Journal of Psychiatry, Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) scores dropped by 62% among participants following five days of SAINT stimulation compared with a 14% drop among participants receiving sham stimulation. These improvements were sustained over a four-week follow-up.” ?The method was developed by Nolan Williams and he used MRI to best target the site of stimulation 

Cannabidiol (CBD) does not make cannabis safer

Amir Englund et al reported in Neuropsychopharmacology in A randomised, double-blind, cross-over trial of cannabis with four different CBD:THC ratios that CBD did not protect against the adverse effect of THC. These included impaired delayed verbal recall ( p?=?0.001) and induced positive psychotic symptoms on the PANSS ( p?=?2.41?×?10–5).

Editors Note: Not only does marijuana impair memory, it is a risk factor the onset of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. When pot is used by a person with a unipolar or bipolar mood disorder, there are increases in depression and anxiety and an overall less favorable course of illness. If a person with a mood disorder uses heavy amounts of marijuana, they could consider buying N-acetylcysteine (NAC) 500mg and increasing the dose to 1,000mg twice a day within a week as this has been shown to decrease drug use compared to placebo in adolescents and young adults using and abusing pot. Most people who sell pot, are not well-informed about its dangers and just want to make money.