Dr. Robert Findling Receives National Award for Bipolar Disorder-Related Research

BALTIMORE, October 17, 2019Kennedy Krieger Institute’s vice president of Psychiatric Services and Research, Robert Findling, MD, MBA, recently received the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s (AACAP) 2019 Norbert and Charlotte Rieger Award for Scientific Achievement for his research on the role of lithium in the maintenance treatment of pediatric patients with bipolar I disorder. The award, which was presented at the AACAP annual meeting in Chicago, recognizes the most outstanding scientific paper published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from July 2018 through June 2019. 

Published in February 2019, the study, “Lithium for the Maintenance Treatment of Bipolar I Disorder: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Discontinuation Study,” examines the long-term safety of lithium through a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Discontinuation Trial. The trial was a continuation of prior work that highlighted lithium’s efficacy and effect size in the acute treatment of mania in pediatric patients. That study found that what was observed for lithium in youths is comparable to what has been reported in adult patients. The current study found that continued treatment with lithium is associated with better outcomes and is generally well-tolerated in pediatric patients with bipolar disorder.

“It is an honor to receive this award from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and for the organization to recognize this study’s impact on the treatment for bipolar disorder in children and adolescents,” said Findling.

Findling was honored at the AACAP’s 66th Annual Meeting in Chicago on Oct. 16 where he accepted the award and presented the findings of this study.

About Kennedy Krieger Institute:   
Internationally recognized for improving the lives of children and adolescents with disorders and injuries of the brain, spinal cord and musculoskeletal system, Kennedy Krieger Institute in the greater Baltimore/Washington, D.C. region serves 24,000 individuals a year through inpatient and outpatient clinics, home and community services, and school-based programs. Kennedy Krieger provides a wide range of services for children with neurological issues, from mild to severe, and is home to a team of investigators who are contributing to the understanding of how disorders develop, while at the same time pioneering new interventions and methods of early diagnosis.   


Grace Clark
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