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Bipolar News

February 1, 2005

Note: One or more of the following articles may require a subscription to view the entire article.  We cannot post articles that require a subscription.  We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Bipolar drug listed on PBS
Australian - Australia
The drug Zyprexa, an antipsychotic medication used to treat bipolar disorder, will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from tomorrow. ...

Childhood Abuse Common Among Manic Depressives
Reuters - USA
LONDON (Reuters) - Nearly half of patients suffering from manic depression, or bipolar disorder, may have been abused as children, scientists say in a new ...

Coalition to Launch New Resources for Parents Regarding Antidepressants 'Helping Parents Help Their Kids'.

US Newswire; 1/31/2005

News Advisory:

In the last year SSRI antidepressants have been the focus of much government and media attention, and parents of children and adolescents with depression have struggled to find useful information and resources to best help their children. On Feb. 1, 2005, a large coalition of medical and family/patient advocacy organizations will come together to launch new resources to help parents help their kids.

WHO:

A large coalition of medical and family/patient advocacy organizations, including:

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; American Association of Suicidology; American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; American Psychiatric Association; American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry; Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance; Families for Depression Awareness; National Alliance for the Mentally Ill; National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems; National Mental Health Association; Society for Adolescent Medicine; Suicide Awareness Voices of Education; Suicide Prevention Action Network

WHAT: A news conference to announce new resources for parents of children and adolescents struggling with depression. The coalition's goal in putting out the new resources is to help parents help their kids.

WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2005, at 10 a.m.

WHERE: National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. - - Lisagor Room

RSVP: Please indicate your attendance by contacting the American Psychiatric Association's Communications Office at 703-907-8640 or press(At)psych.org.

------

The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society, founded in 1844, whose more than 36,000 physician members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illnesses including substance use disorders. For more information, visit the APA Web site at http://www.psych.org.

http://www.usnewswire.com

CONTACT: APA Communications, 703-907-8640 or press@psych.org
Copyright (C) 2005, U.S. Newswire

COPYRIGHT 2005 COMTEX News Network, Inc.

Does your child have AD/HD? Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Manila Bulletin; 1/30/2005

Byline: J.LO F. MANONGDO

Is your child overly active and uncontrollable? Is he vigorous and often demanding and argumentative? Does he possess excessive temper tantrums? If you answered yes to all of the above, chances are your child may be suffering from Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Dr. Cornelio Banaag, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry of the Medical City defines AD/HD as a neurobiological condition characterized by developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention and concentration, distractibility, and hyperactivity-impulsivity that can occur in combination across school, home and social settings.

Researchers estimate that the condition affects at least three to seven percent of school-age children in the United States.

Locally, there is no solid data of the incidence of AD/HD among Filipino school-age children but Dr. Banaag said that the number of Asian school-age children suffering from AD/HD is increasing.

This was found after a recent regional conference concerning AD/HD in Asia. Health experts who attended the conference agreed that at the condition affects nearly 4 to 7 percent of school-age children in any country in the Asian region.

"We seem to have a high prevalence here although its a skewed population. My colleagues and I get a lot of patients with AD/HD each day. I seem to be a magnet for AD/HD sufferers," Dr. Banaag said.

Manifestations of AD/HD

Doctors said that some manifestations of the disorder in children and in adults overlap. Some of them may carry it until adulthood but it is difficult to diagnose adults with AD/HD.

"They are often misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder," Dr. Robert Buenaventura, medical director of Eli Lilly Philippines said.

Bipolar disorder is a psychological condition characterized by mood swings, highs and lows with manic-depressive states. At one point they are happy, the next moment they feel depressed.

In children, bipolar disorder is seen through mood changes such as elation, depression, and irritability. But there are some symptoms that can be both present in AD/HD and bipolar disorder, one of which is high level of energy.

Generally, children with AD/HD display inattention. This is characterized by failure to given close attention to detail, difficulty in sustaining attention in tasks or play, not appearing to listen when spoken to directly, not following through on instructions, difficulty organizing tasks and activities, easily distracted, often losing necessary things, forgetful in daily activities, carelessness and inability to organize things.

They also manifest symptoms of hyperactivityimpulsivity. This is seen through the following: Fidgeting often with hands or feet, squirming, cannot stay seated in one place, talking excessively, often on the go as if driven by a motor, blurts out excessively, difficulty awaiting turn, interrupting or intruding others.

Dr. Banaag adds that although they may be smart, they have academic difficulties due to unsustained attention.

For teenagers, they may have difficulty in sustaining social relations, and low self-esteem. There may also be high parent-child conflict, greater demands and reduced responsiveness, reduced likelihood and duration of compliance resulting to greater parenting stress.

Teenagers with AD/HD may also have a sense of inner restlessness rather than hyperactivity. They are disorganized and fail to work independently. They also have poor peer relationship, and have the inability to delay gratification.

Doctors said that most teenagers suffering from this disorder often become substance abusers while females suffer from unwanted pregnancies.

Based on a study in the US, 60 percent of juvenile delinquents there have AD/HD.

In adults, AD/HD is manifested through restlessness and poor planning and organization, emotional distress, bad temper, frustration, low academic performance, difficulty finishing daily jobs, and poor social skills.

Theories of etiology of AD/HD

Dr. Banaag said that AD/HD may be combination of several factors that include genetics, neurotransmitter dysfunction, perinatal hazards, and environmental toxins.

He explained that neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that facilitates learning and emotions and regulates body movements.

Over the years, the medical community has made the public well aware of the disorder due to aggressive campaign.

"I once had a couple who came to my clinic with their son. I asked the boy to play with a puzzle at one part of the clinic while his parents and I were discussing some things. When the subject of AD/HD came up, the boy stood up and blurted out that he knows what AD/HD is. He said that he has heard about it on TV and that he knows that he has it," Dr.Banaag related.

He said that many child sufferers know that something is wrong with them but just cannot do something about the situation.

"A mother of one my patients got scolded by his mother for being so hyperactive running back and forth in my clinic. The mother asked his son to stop his restlessness but the boy said that he would have stopped if he could. That means he could not control himself," he added.

Forms of treatment

Dr. Banaag said that there are two kinds of interventions in dealing with the disorder . The first is behavior management strategy where the child is taught to behave correctly in various occasions. This may be accompanied by remedial education and cognitive therapy that teaches the child the principle of "Stop, Think, Do."

However, Banaag indicates that the abovementioned are good only for young sufferers and not for adults with AD/HD.

Pharmacotherapy is suggested if the previously mentioned strategies were not able to address the problem of AD/HD.

Stimulants are usually given to persons with AD/HD where it is found to be safe even to young children. Dr. Banaag said that stimulants given to young children for the treatment of AD/HD has been proven safe however, a controversy related to stimulants have surfaced throughout the years. "There are many testimonies from parents saying that their child is receptive to the drug. Their symptoms have been lessened since they started taking it. However, there are cases where an older sibling takes the stimulant before a sports event, or before exams and that is where the issue of misuse comes in," he said.

A new non-stimulant drug have been recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and is now available in the country as an alternative to stimulant medication.

Treatment however, only means suppressing the manifestations and not totally wiping out the disorder.

"Its just like hypertension. It cannot be eliminated but blood pressure can be regulated and complications can be prevented," Dr. Banaag said.

Doctors said that about 30 percent of sufferers outgrow the disorder although it cannot be totally eliminated and some symptoms may still manifest itself from time to time.

Not everyone who is hyperactive, inattentive or careless has AD/HD. Some people are just quick to say some things without really thinking them over. Therefore proper diagnosis is crucial.

Pediatricians, Psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists, and even your regular family doctor can determine whether your child has AD/HD or not.

Early detection of the disorder will certainly benefit the child and the parent as well.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp.

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