Learned something new about evolution of difficult child 2's bipolar

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    yesterday at our appointment at UCLA. One of the researchers said she'd remembered reading something about Sydenham's Chorea and bipolar, found the book and copied the passage for me.

    There is evidence that some people who develop Sydenham's Chorea after a strep episode, and who are already predisposed to bipolar, are often catapaulted into bipolar disorder much sooner and possibly to a greater degree than if they'd never had the Sydenham's.

    It would explain why difficult child 2's bipolar symptoms became much more pronounced around the same time he was dealing with the aftermath and diagnosis of Sydenham's. It seems to fall under the whole PANDAS umbrella of psychiatric/neurologically based disorders stemming from a hostile autoimmune response to certain strep bacteria. It doesn't change things for us, but it's comforting in a way to understand why things happen.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Very interesting....I didn't know what that was so I just looked it up on Wikipedia. difficult child has complained about jerking movements of limbs for several years, although no one has noticed him having any tics. He had strep for several autumns in a row as an elementary aged child. I don't know how it will end up exactly but my guess is that 50 years from now, there's going to be some answers about some of these disorders being caused by something(s).
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    GCV....how interesting!

    It is my very humble and of course, uneducated opinion that the chemical imbalances in the brain that cause bipolar and other mental health issues are also tied to some of the physical health disorders. I think it is interesting that so many people who have various autoimmune disorders also have bipolar. Makes you go hmmm. Also people like me who have the OA and fibro tend to have some form of depression or bipolar. And it isnt just a depression that is caused by being in pain or the depression isnt causing the pain. The medications being used for the bipolar tend to also treat some of the pain conditions such as neurontin for nerve pain.

    All this just makes me think there is more to it when they say it is all in your head!
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    klmno and Janet, I completely agree that there's more to these disorders than we understand! The body and the brain do not exist in separate vacuums, and what affects one HAS to have some kind of impact on the other. It's just frustrating when YOU'RE the one dealing with the aftermath and no one can tell you why or what to do about it, let alone what to expect. I am impatient for answers when it comes to things like this.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    So am I and I hate it when doctors look at me like a from Mars when I start asking these things because I am an educated patient and all they want is a sheep!
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Very interesting. Thank you.
    I agree, it is comforting to know the "whys" of things.
  7. miles2go

    miles2go Member

    Autoimmune and bipolar, haven't heard but in my family the ones with allergy are the BiPolar (BP) ones and allergy exacerbates mania. Of course these things can be on closely-linked genes. I used to have a theory that an early onset (about 6-7 y.o.) BiPolar (BP) leads to emotional (like NPD) and some cognitive (memory, "magical" thinking) impairments, but now after reading just how much organic damage (prefontal tissue shrinking, smaller amygdala) is found with BiPolar (BP) I am sure much of that is at the source.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    With my son, the albuterol and allergy medications seem to play as much into it (if not more) than the allergies themselves. Plus- the use of steroids and my gut feeling is that all these they used on him as an infant and pre-schooler contributed. Now, I understand that depression and anxiety run in my family so the predisposition was likely there. But I still think these medications had something to do with it and the doctors are starting to consider that a little. They won't acknowledge it as a trigger yet but acknowledge that it makes things worse.

    I am advocating now for parents to speak up about this stuff- to the pediatricians and psychiatrist researchers. I don't think it would account for all kids who turn into difficult child's, but there sure seems to be a high percentage that just coincidentally had allergy and asthmatic issues and were given the albuterol, steroids, and typical allergy medications.

    What did it for me was noticing that my son was unstable only at the same times of year that he had been asthmatic as a young child and needed medications as a pre-adolescent.
  9. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks for sharing this info. Certainly good to keep up on these new developments.