Pediatric Bipolar
Disorders Program

The Stanford Pediatric Bipolar Disorders Program


Pediatric bipolar disorder (BD) is an understudied disorder that may affect at least 1% of children and adolescents. The cause is unknown, though we do know that it is largely inherited. There are no genes or biological tests that can help to diagnose BD, and there are very few conclusive studies regarding effective medications in pediatric BD. The Stanford Pediatric Bipolar Disorders Program was founded by Kiki Chang, MD in 1997 to increase and improve the research on pediatric bipolar disorder.

Our Mission

We wish to use all of our available resources to study pediatric BD in order to learn more about its causes and effective treatments. We hope to someday be able to detect which children are at very high risk for BD and to prevent them from developing the disorder.

The Clinic

Dr. Chang and Dr. Singh, Co-Directors of the Pediatric Mood Disorders Clinic, and their colleagues provide consultation services and pharmacologic treatment of children and adolescents with bipolar disorder (BD). Dr. Chang and his colleagues provide consultations regarding diagnosis and treatment recommendations for children and adolescents with BD. Due to personnel and space constraints, we have limited openings for consultations and ongoing treatment. We are not currently able to provide educational interventions, which are essential for children with BD. Certain pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic treatments are available through the Research Program and Clinic, and consultations are provided to all research participants.

The Research Program

The Research Program serves to study the cause, presentation, and treatment of pediatric BD. Our central mission is to understand which children are at risk for developing BD so that we can intervene to prevent the disorder. In order to do this, we are conducting studies designed to discover brain and gene abnormalities that are unique to early-onset BD.  Together with early symptoms, these biological "markers" could then be used to predict the amount of risk that children have for developing full-blown BD.  These markers would also provide information on the cause of BD, enabling better treatments to be developed. As BD is a chronic disorder that affects millions of children, who largely then become adults with BD, we feel it is necessary to focus our efforts on the early identification and prevention of this disorder.  Please see our Research page for more information on our current studies, and contact us at (650) 725-6760 or by email if you are interested in joining our research.


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