8 year old with Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified

A reader asked:

My 8 yr old daughter has bipolar nos. She has been admitted to a phosp for a 72 hour hold. She is on resperidol and depakote. Are there any clinical studies being conducted that she can participate in?. We are in los Angeles. Thank you!

Dr. Dave:

Yes, there are several clinical/treatment studies she may be eligible for. Please contact Brittany Matkevich at the UCLA CHAMP clinic at (310) 825-2836 and let her know we "e-spoke."

For our more general audience: bipolar NOS is often diagnosed in younger kids when they have short but frequent periods of manic activation (often with irritability, decreased sleep, rapid speech, increased activity) alternating with periods of depression.  The periods of manic activation may only be 1-2 days long, but we worry about them when they (a) represent a clear change from the kid's usual state, (b) cause disruption in the child's home and school life, and (c) happen repeatedly.  Kids with bipolar NOS don't necessarily grow up to have adult bipolar disorder - that can depend on things like whether a family history of BD is present, whether treatment is started early enough, and a host of other factors.