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Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Mental Health, Mental Health Disorders, Pediatrics Research, Voluntary Health Associations & Medical Disciplines

Mission: Our mission is to raise and distribute funds for the most promising research into the causes, treatments and prevention of early-onset bipolar disorder. Because of recent advances in the neurosciences, neuroimaging, and molecular genetics, psychiatry and its related disciplines are now poised, as never before, to more clearly elucidate the neuroanatomical and molecular pathways that are responsible for specific psychiatric diseases. The scientific and clinical team of JBRF is organized around a common research aim: to advance the state of knowledge about this illness so that more effective treatments can be developed.

Results: JBRF has the largest source of symptom data in the world from children affected by bipolar disorder. Research based on our data has resulted in: a neuroanatomical model of the illness (the first for any mental disorder) a treatment approach and pilot study which has exhibited extremely positive responses the initiation of a treatment study approved by the FDA a putative biomarker for the condition which may lead to the development of an objective diagnostic test for the condition. JBRF developed diagnostic screening instruments to meet the need for the early identification of bipolar disorder in children: The Child Bipolar Questionnaire (CBQ) is a rapid, low-cost screening tool that has demonstrated a high degree of accuracy predicting various phenotypes of bipolar disorder as well as ADHD. The Jeannie/Jeffrey Illustrated Interview for Children is a screening instrument that makes possible the direct reporting of symptoms by a young child. The comic-strip style illustrations promotes the child's willingness and ability to reveal mood states, fears, suicidal thoughts and/or hallucinations. The Journal of Affective Disorders: A dimensional approach to screening for pediatric bipolar disorder, January 2011, explores the efficacy of the CBQ. The results of a JBRF study focused on establishing guidelines for differentiating early-onset bipolar disorder from ADHD were published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, (Jan 2011). The data from neuropsychological testing of 33 children with bipolar disorder and 22 children with ADHD-only demonstrated specific differences in the neuropsychological profiles. The MRI imaging on the subject children with bipolar disorder revealed a consistent abnormality in the amygdala.

Target demographics: Children between the ages of 4 to 13 years old that have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Programs: ~ clinical treatment study approved by FDA ~ whole genome sequencing study ~ genetic study

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

I'm from India and I follow the work of JBRF. Being so far away it would seem improbable that their work would touch lives here. But it does. My brother was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 8 years ago. He has been through 5 hospitalizations, more than a dozen drugs and ECT (Electro Convulsive Therapy). Yet, in all of those 8 years he has not remained symptom free for more than 3 months; that's all the "normal" days put together. The research done by Dr Papolos at JBRF has defined a set of characteristics (symptoms) of the disorder that are normally not associated with the disease (as per the DSM criteria). This approach opens up new ways to treat, control and maybe one day cure the disorder. The first step in this direction is the Ketamine study at JBRF. Coming back to my brother, he has more than 75% of the symptoms defined by Dr. Papolos. Once JBRF publishes the results of the Ketamine study, I hope his doctors would be able to prescribe Ketamine. And, after a decade of torment, may he find peace.


Client Served

Rating: 5

Our 13 year old son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age five. He has struggled through two hospitalizations, 5 schools in 8 years and daily suffering that is indescribable. We tried all conventional medications. In July 2011, we put him under the care of Dr. Papolos who diagnosed him with the fear of harm phenotype, and he entered into the pilot Ketamine research study through JBRF. Not only is he now successfully attending school, but he can accept limits and navigate the ups and downs of daily life. For the first time we feel like he has a future. We are forever grateful for the important and necessary work of the JBRF. The lives of children like ours and their families and communities depend on it.


Client Served

Rating: 5

The Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation is dedicated to increasing the quality of life for children and families struggling with bipolar disorder. My husband and I are very thankful for the research that the JBRF is doing and the education this organization provides. Our son has participated in some of the studies over the years. It has been empowering to work toward solutions when faced with the trials and tribulations associated with this illness. JBRF is providing parents, educators, medical professionals and, even the children themselves, with a road map toward successful treatment. This is not and easy task. It requires hard work and financial support. It is heartbreaking to think of how much our children suffer with anxiety, low moods, high moods, anger, night terrors, medication side effects, etc, the list goes on. And yet we hope and pray daily that solutions will come, that our children and grandchildren may know peace and joy. These solutions can only come through continued research. Hopefully, one day, in the not too distant future, better options will be available and remission will be a reality for many.



Rating: 4

I have been a consistent donor to the Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation since its inception. It is the only organization that it totally focused on research - not intervention/politics/policy-making/advocacy/counseling. I have a son who has severe bipolar disorder and, while he will never be capable of attending college and creating a prosperous and independent life, I have great hope that his children (my grandchildren) will have good lives with good experiences and fulfillment. The gene may travel from generation to generation and create havoc throughout the years - but I have confidence that this little organization will save the lives of my grandchildren. JBRF is the only foundation pursuing independent "outside of the box" research - completely ignoring the politics of academia and government - and digging into pure science and biology and genetics. I am not a huge donor, but I am a donor with an enormous amount of belief. This is the little engine that could.

Review from Guidestar