Severe Irritability in Children Not a Precurser to Bipolar Disorder

Guest Post by Brenda Patoine

Ever witnessed an all-out temper tantrum from a nap-deprived three-year-old? Now imagine living with that kind of emotional outburst day in and day out for years. This is what it’s like for parents of children with disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), a newly recognized psychiatric syndrome that typically begins before age ten.

child temper tantrum

Credit: Shutterstock

DMDD is among the “new” mental health disorders described in the latest edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), used by mental health professionals to diagnose and treat mental illness.

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Dana News E-Blast: February

Here are some stories recently posted on

Cerebrum-February 2016-Lithium-Article ContentLithium to the Rescue

by Richard S. Jope, Ph.D., and Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D.

New research reveals lithium’s role as a neuroprotector and suggests that enzymes modulated by lithium could lead to new treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and other neurodegenerative disorders. From Cerebrum, our online magazine of ideas.

New Clues to the Causes of Bipolar Disorder

Cell and animal models point to abnormalities in two brain areas. Continue reading

New in Cerebrum: Older Fathers Having Children

The baby boomer trend of marrying and having families later than the previous generation was one reason for the most comprehensive study to date on parental age and offspring mental health. The findings—published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry in late February—garnered considerable attention for reporting that children born to middle-aged men are more likely than their older siblings to develop any range of mental difficulties, including bipolar disorder, autism, schizophrenia, attempted suicide, and drug abuse.Cerebrum - July 2014 - article - content

The authors of the study, Brian M. D’Onofrio, Ph.D., and Paul Lichtenstein, Ph.D., impressively summarize the data and the feedback they have received since the article was published in “The Age Gauge: Older Fathers Having Children,” the featured Cerebrum article for July.

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Cerebrum Story Outlines Psychiatric Drug Development Crisis

Despite decades of research and billions of dollars invested, not a single mechanistically novel drug has reached the psychiatric market in more than 30 years. At the same time, the demand for psychiatric drugs has skyrocketed, according to Medco Health Solutions, a pharmacy benefit manager. Today, one in five Americans is currently on one psychiatric drug and mental disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder are increasingly recognized by healthcare systems worldwide. But the really disturbing part is that people who need help in the form of new, innovative drugs are not getting it.

This issue is the focus of this month’s Cerebrum feature: “Psychiatric Drug Development: Diagnosing a Crisis” by Dana Alliance and Dana Foundation Board member Steven M. Hyman, M.D., to find out the history of psychiatric drug development, the reasons for its retreat, and the changes necessary to meet the growing demand.

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Robert Post on Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Robert Post, M.D., is an expert on bipolar disorder and a Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives member. He completed his psychiatry residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and George Washington University. At NIMH, Post worked his way up to chief of the Biological Psychiatry Branch, a position he held for many of his 36 years there. He now leads the Bipolar Collaborative Network.

Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million American adults, or about 2.6 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year, according to the NIMH. In the interview below, edited for clarity, Dr. Post talks about the disorder, including potential treatments.

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