A multicenter study of young patients with bipolar disorder provides what may be the most scientifically rigorous demonstration to date that lithium—a drug used successfully for decades to treat adults with the condition—can also be safe and effective for children suffering from it.

The study, led by a researcher at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and published in Pediatrics, affirms what clinicians who prescribe this drug have observed for years and suggests that doctors can now more confidently add lithium to the armamentarium of available treatments for this vulnerable population — at least in the short term, the authors say.

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