Media Coverage

Could Ketamine Help Children With Bipolar Disorder?  CBS New York, Dr. Max Gomez reports.

Could Ketamine Help Children With Bipolar Disorder? CBS New York, Dr. Max Gomez reports.



Click the following link to watch the report by Dr. Max Gomez:

Could Ketamine Help Children With Bipolar Disorder? « CBS New York.

JBRF reviewed on GreatNonprofits

Treatment Experience – A mother’s story by The Coffee Klatch | Blog Talk Radio

For any parent raising a child affected by bipolar disorder, this is an invaluable interview.

This interview provides a complete description of the FOH phenotype and clarifies the confusion caused by DSM controversies.

An overview of the intranasal ketamine clinical study is presented by the study’s coordinator, Alyssa Bronsteen.

MOST IMPORTANT: this is your chance to meet a mother who has nurtured a son who has struggled with the symptoms of bipolar disorder his entire life.  Hear her describe her son’s life pre- and post- intranasal ketamine treatment.



Our research only gets done with YOUR support.  Help us bring relief to children fighting the effects of bipolar disorder.  Your financial support makes a world of difference.  And it enables JBRF to continue this important research.  Thank you for making these advances possible.

Response to the Wall Street Journal article: The Long Battle to Rethink Mental Illness in Children

Response to the Wall Street Journal article: The Long Battle to Rethink Mental Illness in Children

On Thursday, October 18, 2012 the following article appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal:  The Long Battle to Rethink Mental Illness in Children.  The following letter has been sent by JBRF to the Editor of the Wall Street Journal:

To evaluate the classification Disruptive Mood Disorder with Dysphoria (DMDD), proposed as an alternative to pediatric bipolar disorder and slated for inclusion in the next Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), one need look no further than the research base from which it sprung.  The investigative group used existing DSM classifications and assumptions as the anchor points by which all data were measured.  However, 30 years of DSM-based research has not led to any breakthroughs or predictable diagnosis and treatment.

A seminal research initiative launched in 2010 by the NIMH divorces itself from DSM.  Dr. Tom Insel, Director, wrote, “Reliability [of a classification] is not the same as validity. As research increasingly reveals the brain circuitry for various forms of behaviors, we can look forward to a classification system validated by a knowledge of both the genetic risks and neural basis of mental illness.” The new paradigm, “makes no assumptions about current categories.”

Yet DMDD tenaciously reshuffles those old assumptions.  Of grave concern is that the new iteration calls for a treatment plan which we believe is contraindicated for the population.

For over a decade our foundation has supported a line of research consistent with the newly defined NIMH priorities. We have identified a unique clinical profile which unifies symptoms currently flung across the DSM spectrum. The profile incorporates the chronically explosive behaviors of “DMDD” as well as previously unconsidered symptoms. Significantly, the profile associates with a clear physiological deficit.  A 4+ year pilot study has used a novel treatment regimen for more than 50 severely ill children who fit the profile.  The treatment corrects the deficit and simultaneously relieves the problem behaviors and symptoms. (  An FDA/IRB approved clinical study is now underway.

We submitted this information to the DSM-5 Task Force however they indicated no interest in further discussion.


Inger Sjogren, Executive Director
Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation
Maplewood, NJ
Dr. Demitri Papolos, Director of Research
Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation
Alissa Bronsteen, Research Manager
Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation

Prevalence, Persistence, and Severity of Psychiatric Illness in Teens

Sobering statistics reveal the necessity of investing in research today.

The diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders in childhood would drastically reduce the effects of symptoms among the teenage population.  An investment in research now could save a countless number of teenagers from social impairment, behavioral issues, school/work failures and suicidal idealization.

Dr. Robert L. Findling, Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University, presents the findings of recent studies: psychiatric disorders were found to be not only prevalent but also substantially persistent among teenagers.

For your information we have provided a link to Dr. Findling’s presentation: Prevalence, Persistence, and Severity of Psychiatric Illness in Teens.

Your investment in research could reap dividends that will improve the chances for children to beat the symptoms and effects of psychiatric disorders.

Please consider making an investment in research that is focused solely on divining the cause of bipolar disorder in children.

Your donation today may mean relief for many – and for all the generations that will follow.  It is an investment in everyone’s future.

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Interview: ketamine & bipolar disorder

Interview: ketamine & bipolar disorder

An interview on Blog Talk Radio with Marianne Russo of “The CoffeeKlatch” :



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“Rewriting the Rules” – a look at the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

“Rewriting the Rules” – a look at the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

The “book of books” for mental health professionals is getting a make-over.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) provides the standard criteria for the diagnosis of mental disorders.  It is used by clinicians, researchers, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and policy makers as the guide upon which to base treatments, insurance coverage, pharmaceutical development, research and public policy.  The DSM is published by the American Psychiatric Association and is currently in its fourth edition.

This powerful document is in revision and the new DSM is due out in 2013.

“Voices in the Family” on WHYY Radio hosted a segment devoted to discussing the proposed changes to the DSM and how these changes will effect the diagnosis of juvenile bipolar disorder. Dr. Darrel Regier, vice chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-V task force, presents some of the proposed changes to this manual and the task force’s justifications for such revisions.

Dr. Demitri Papolos, Director of Research for JBRF and author of The Bipolar Child, and Alissa Bronsteen of JBRF discuss the validity and reliability of the DSM and how its categorical approach to defining mental illnesses have failed to adequately describe juvenile bipolar disorder.

Click on the following link to hear this radio segment: “Rewriting the Rules” – a look at the new DSM

Juvenile bipolar disorder: New study could be the key

Juvenile bipolar disorder: New study could be the key

Written by Jeannette Ross

The Wilton Bulletin

Saturday, 31 December 2011


Juvenile bipolar disorder is not recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, but parents of children who suffer from it know it is real.

Their children suffer from rapid and abrupt mood swings, extreme and protracted temper outbursts, and sometimes visual and auditory hallucinations. They are easily frustrated and, most tellingly, in the most severe cases, the children’s bodies cannot properly regulate their temperature. As Inger Sjogren said, “Any bipolar kid sleeps hot.”

Ms. Sjogren of Wilton is executive director of the Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation (, which is based in Maplewood, N.J. The charitable organization supports research into this mental disorder.

Despite the often poor prognosis for these children — diagnosis is difficult, medications are expensive and often ineffective — she reports there may be some good news on the horizon in the form of a drug study and genetic research.

The Food and Drug Administration has given the foundation approval to undertake a study of the use of the drug ketamine in treating children with bipolar disorder who also have a biological marker associated with difficulty in regulating body temperature.

The double-blind study will involve 60 children between the ages of 6 and 12; 30 will get the drug and 30 will get a placebo over the course of 15 days. The drug will be given intranasally and the children will be monitored every day they receive the drug with physical and mental tests. Results should be apparent very quickly, Ms. Sjogren said.

It the results are as anticipated, the foundation would hope to have its study replicated by another scientific team, she said.

The study will be funded by supporters of the Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation. It is the first placebo-controlled study to apply this novel treatment in this age group, Ms. Sjogren said. The children will be recruited primarily from the tri-state area. They must undergo certain tests by a pediatrician and must be free of certain pharmaceuticals, athough they may be on standard drugs for bipolar disorder such as lithium.

The study should get underway in a matter of months, she said. For information on participating, visit the foundation website.

This is an off-label use of ketamine, Ms. Sjogren said, which is more commonly prescribed as an anesthetic or as an analgesic for chronic pain syndromes. In the pilot study that has been conducted “it clearly works to relieve fear and aggression,” Ms. Sjogren said. (Ketamine may also produce hallucinations and a state of dissociation and thus has been used illicitly, sometimes referred to as Special K.)

Ketamine has been used in a few individual cases of juvenile bipolar disorder with encouraging results, Ms. Sjogren said. Its main effect is to lower body temperature.

The study is being spearheaded by Dr. Demitri Papolos, the foundation’s director of research, who has compiled profiles of 8,000 children suffering from juvenile bipolar disorder, which is also known as early-onset bipolar disorder. In his studies he has focused on the part of the brain that controls arousal, or the fight-or-flight instinct. Ketamine, Ms. Sjogren said, seems to have a calming effect.

Early onset bipolar disorder affects close to one million children in the U.S., according to the foundation. Bipolar disorder — also referred to as manic depression — was thought to be rare in children. It was often misdiagnosed as ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, depression, as well as other disorders.

“In the past, this was viewed as a behavior issue,” Ms. Sjogren said. “But how many six-year-olds talk about killing themselves and how they are going to do it?” she said, referring to one child.

Genome study

The foundation also recently received funding to do a genome-sequencing study to look for a genetic mutation that would be involved with juvenile bipolar disorder. To do so, the foundation is searching for a family where the disorder has come down on only one side of the family.

“It is commonly accepted this is carried by at least several genes,” Ms. Sjogren said. “What’s not commonly accepted is when it is activated.”

“The sequencing study would be a huge breakthrough,” she said. “But we need to find the right family. We only have one shot at this.”

The study will be done at Albert Einstein Hospital under the direction of Dr. Herb Lachman, co-director of the Program in Behavioral Genetics.

“We need six affected individuals,” she said, “six people with bipolar disorder in the extended family, where the condition comes down only one side. This is turning out to be a tall order.”

Treating childhood bipolar disorder: an interview

Treating childhood bipolar disorder: an interview

Dr. Demitri Papolos, JBRF’s Director of Research and author of The Bipolar Child, and Alissa Bronsteen of JBRF announce the latest in research and breakthroughs in treating childhood bipolar disorder.

Listen to internet radio with The Coffee Klatch on Blog Talk Radio
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Cutting Edge Research

Cutting Edge Research

JBRF’s most up-to-date research is discussed by Alissa Bronsteen of JBRF and Marianne Russo, host of The Coffee Klatch: a virtual cup of coffee for parents of children with special needs

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