The range of disorders that mood stabilizers can be used to treat include bipolar disorder 1, bipolar disorder 2, cyclothymia, schizoaffective disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, any medical condition in which mania is a symptom (such as stroke, cancer, temporal lobe syndrome), recurrent depression as a prophylaxis, etc (Jacobson, 2001). Bipolar disorder is often seen in children suffering from ADHD, along with several other co-morbid conditions. Mood stabilizers are used to treat several disorders in which aggression, agitation and impulsivity are symptoms. Aggressive behavior is common in several other disorders such as conduct disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, mental retardation, deliriums and dementia. Along with agitation, the child may also have accompanying psychosis, mood changes, anxiety, and insomnia. However, mood stabilizers have a range of positive and negative effects, and a lot of consideration is given to the effect of the drug over the academic performance of the child (Kane, 2004).
In this paper, 10 handpicked studies from various databases including Cochrane, Pubmed, BMJ and Google Scholar were being analyzed for findings regarding the effect of mood stabilizers on the academic performance of school children. Taken into consideration were the impact of the disease itself, and the course of the disease with respect to the academic performance when treated or untreated with mood stabilizers. Though there are a number of effects of mood stabilizers on the academic performance, they are vital for effective management of the disease, and the treatment of such children has to be carefully evaluated. Body The first paper that is being reviewed is by Smarty and Findling 2007, in which they conducted a review of the psychopharmacology of a pediatric bipolar disorder. According to the researchers, the disorder itself is debilitating to the child and may have long-term and short-term implications in the school, home or in social settings, and can also affect the academic performance of the child. Besides several other disorders such as ADHD, OPP, substance abuse and conduct disorders can affect Bipolar disorder, which in turn can affect the effectiveness of the treatment of bipolar disorder. This is an important point to be taken into consideration whilst assessing the overall effectiveness of the drugs belonging to the mood stabilizers group. The authors conducted a Medline search over the articles published between 1995 and 2006 for treatment practices for bipolar disorders. The study found that lithium, anticonvulsants and antipsychotics were equally beneficial in the treatment of the mania phase bipolar disorders in youth, though data was lacking with the depressive phase of the disorder. Data even suggested that combination therapy was better than monotherapy especially in the maniac or mixed phases. Besides, many studies did not present much information on the treatment of cormobidities and relapses with the disease. The study in general suggested treatment of cormobidities and relapses using evidence-based guidelines, as these could affect the academ