The excitement over this study among some people concerns me. So here is my take.
Point 1: – 81 patients, no matter how good and valid the study, is very small. Also, age 7 and 17 are woefully different ages, pre-puberty and post-puberty. Studies of adults begin at age 18. Divide 81 patients by these age ranges and we have an even smaller sample size.
Point 2: – Bipolar is a long-term chronic condition that’s hard to diagnose in adults, let alone children. Lithium is used long-term in adults. It’s hard to think of short-term use, period.
Point 3: – What constitutes the results of a long-term study due next—2 – 5 years at best? —7 year old children will be hitting puberty at about that time. The 17 year old teens will be classified adults. You can’t study long-term effects on children when the children are being tracked as adults.
I’m not saying medication is bad, but I have concerns when studies like this are published as if they validate practice. In any case, here is the study.