Purpose of review Bipolar disorder is highly familial and has a protracted and diagnostically confusing prodrome. This review critically evaluates recently published literature relevant to the treatment of psychiatric symptoms in high-risk offspring of parents with bipolar disorder.
Recent findings Non-pharmacological treatment options including psychotherapy, resilience promotion through good sleep, diet, and exercise hygiene, and omega-3 fatty acid supplementation are important first-line interventions for high-risk offspring. There has been some success in treating this population with open-label trials with mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotics; however, these results have not been replicated in randomized controlled trails.
Summary Despite some progress in early identification of symptoms in offspring of parents with bipolar disorder, there is scarce evidence supporting the treatment of these high-risk youth to prevent psychiatric symptoms from progressing to threshold bipolar or other psychiatric disorders. There is a need for prospective and randomized trials and research that identifies reliable biomarkers to individualize treatments for these youth.
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Dr. Singh receives research support from Stanford’s Child Health Research Institute, National Institute of Mental Health, Office of Research on Women’s Health, National Institute of Aging, Neuronetics, Johnson and Johnson, and the Brain and Behavior Foundation.
Conflict of interest
Dr. Zalpuri reports no conflicts of interest. Dr. Singh has been on the advisory board for Sunovion.
This article is part of the Topical Collection on Bipolar and Other Mood Disorders
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Zalpuri, I., Singh, M.K. Treatment of Psychiatric Symptoms Among Offspring of Parents With Bipolar Disorder. Curr Treat Options Psych 4, 341–356 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40501-017-0126-9
- Bipolar disorder