Institute Goals and Overview

Institute Overview

AACAP's 2018 Pediatric Psychopharmacology Update Institute: Cutting Edge Psychopharmacology: Fads versus Facts? discusses effective and safe treatments for childhood disorders. Speakers compare them to less well-established, but promising approaches with some evidence of efficacy that are still being tested. In addition, each speaker describes the unstudied treatments that have appeared on the internet, television, or social media. These include homeopathic medications, optokinetic training for youth with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the use of EEG brain maps to diagnose childhood psychiatric disorders, secretin injections or facilitated communication for youth with autism spectrum disorder, and Doman-Delacato therapy for children with cerebral palsy. Parents hear about these treatments from well-meaning relatives or friends or from the internet, that raise their hopes, but whose claims far outdistance any data.

Eight top child and adolescent psychiatric researchers detail their approaches to psychopharmacological treatment of preschool to transitional age youth with ADHD, anxiety disorders, bipolar and depressive disorders, autism spectrum disorders, tics, Tourette's, disruptive behavior disorder with dysfunctional aggression, and substance use disorders. They discuss medication selection, effectiveness, expected adverse events, and the utility of pharmacogenomics.

At the end of the Institute, participants will be able to discuss safe and effective psychopharmacologic treatments in youth, as well as list why treatment fads are not yet ready for prime time.

Educational Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this CME activity, the participant will be able to:

  1. Describe the first- and second-line psychopharmacological medication choices and dose ranges for youth who present with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, depressive and bipolar disorders, autism spectrum disorders, tic disorders, anxiety, and substance use disorders.
  2. List the starting doses and highest doses of pediatric psychopharmacological agents, their titration plans, how long a medication needs to be tried before switching to another medication, and the methods of phasing in a new medication while withdrawing the other, especially in patients of different ages.
  3. Discuss one promising but not yet proven psychopharmacological treatment for each disorder and be able to explain what more needs to be done before it can be used in practice.
  4. Describe a totally unsupported intervention that might be requested by a parent to treat their child with each of the main psychiatric disorders.