Scientific research on children affected with Bipolar Disorder offers great hope to families. Participation in these studies can enable these families to contribute directly to research that may lead to discoveries that may lessen the burden of Bipolar Disorder for both current and future generations.

Although not all studies will include treatment – benefits may include: a chance to be evaluated by experts on Pediatric Bipolar Disorder; for your child to try a new medication not currently or widely available yet; for your child to receive free treatment (including additional diagnostic tests) during the period of the study; and a period of follow-up care.

Before putting your child in a clinical study, though, the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (CABF) suggests that you ask questions to learn about the study and to help you determine whether having your child be in the study is in your child’s best interests.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) suggests the following Checklist of Questions for people before they enter a study (you can tailor them for your child):

  • Why do you want me in your study?
  • What is the research about? How will this research help in treating or understanding my disorder?
  • What do I need to do and how much time will this take?
  • How might this study help me, my relatives, or other people with my disorder?
  • What possible risks are there to me or my relatives if I take part?
  • How will this be different from the care I am getting now, and do I have other options or choices?
  • Could my illness become worse during the study? What will happen if it does?
  • What will happen to me at the end of the study?
  • What should I do if I want to drop out of the study?
  • May I get back to you after I discuss this with my family/friend/case manager/doctor?