Known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as a distinct psychiatric ailment characterized by cyclic extremes of mood and behavior, bipolar disorder remains today one of the most challenging mental illnesses for clinicians to address – challenging to identify, challenging to treat. Mainstream interventions adhering solely to psychopharmaceutical approaches are incomplete, and do not account for biologic factors that so often influence the trajectory of this complex disorder.
Through a functional and integrative approach, it becomes possible to address etiologic factors that contribute to BD, and formulate targeted, personalized interventions for patients that make health and balance possible.
This unique course, co-taught by Drs. Greenblatt and Bongiorno, elucidates a novel functional medicine model for the treatment of BD, of which medication is just one of several therapeutic pillars. Approved pharmaceuticals for mania, depression, mixed-episodes, and maintenance will be reviewed in detail, after which the course will explore biochemical abnormalities associated with BD that open the doors to functional interventions. Genetics, nutritional deficiencies that impact neurotransmission and signaling cascades, mitochondrial dysfunction, and other factors will be examined, as will evidence-based interventions that address intrinsic imbalances, support balanced neurochemical signaling, and optimize affective regulation. Clinical pearls and concept-to-application bridges are proffered throughout the course, which together support a paradigm of patient-provider collaboration wherein the greatest successes may be realized.