Task Forces

Active Task Forces

Bipolar Disorder in Older Adults

Leads: Martha Sajatovic, USA; Annemeik Dols, The Netherlands

Members: Osvaldo Almeida, Australia; Rayan Aljurdi, USA; Jean-Michel Azorin, France; John Beyer, USA; PJ Chen, USA; Colin Depp, USA; Lisa Eyler, USA; Brent Forester, USA; Jennifer Gatchel, USA; Ari Gildengers, USA; Oscar Heeren, Peru; Lars Vedel Kessing, Denmark; Andrew Olagunju, Australia; Soham Rej, Canada; Siegried Schouws, The Netherlands; Kenneth Shulman, Canada; Sergio Strejilevich, Argentina; Shang-ying Tsai, Taiwan; Robert Young, USA; William Rengenold, USA

This group of international experts works to generate on-going collaborative projects focused improving treatment outcomes for older-age patients with bipolar disorder (OABD) Outcomes include publications and presentations such as consensus summaries of literature, efforts to identify a “minimum data set” in OABD and Delphi exercise to address use of lithium in OABD.

Role of Lithium in Bipolar Disorders

Leads: Michael Bauer, Germany; Emanuel Severus, Germany

Members: Alda Martin, Canada; Jay D Amsterdam USA; Ross J Baldessarini, USA; Anne Berghöfer, Germany; Michael Berk, Australia; Alberto Bocchetta, Italy; Charles Bowden, USA; Thomas Bschor, Denmark; Cynthia Calkins, Canada; Joseph Calabrese, USA; André F Carvalho, Brazil; De-Maw Chuang, USA; Andrea Cipriani, UK; Anne Duffy, Canada; Kostas Fountoulakis, Greece; Mark Frye, USA; John Geddes, UK; Michael Gitlin, USA; Guy Goodwin, UK; Paul Grof, Canada; Tomas, Hajek, Canada; Flavio Kapczinski, Canada; Lars Vedel Kessing, Denmark; Ralph Kupka, The Netherlands; Ute Lewizka, Germany; Rasmus Licht, Denmark; Carlos López Jamamillo, Colombia; Rodrigo Machado-Vieira, USA; Gin Malhi, Australia; Husseini Manji, USA; Bruno Müller-Oerlinghausen, Germany; Andrew Nierenberg, USA; Willem Nolen, The Netherlands; Isabella Pacchiarotti, Spain; Andrea Pfennig, Germany; Robert Post, USA; Janusz Rybakowski, Poland; Gary Sachs, USA; Thomas Schulze, Germany; Christian Simhandl, Austria, Jair Soares, USA, Trisha Suppes, USA, Mauricio Tohen, USA, Leonardo Tondo, USA, Eduard Vieta, Spain, Allan H Young, UK, Trevor L Young, Canada, Carlos Zarate, USA

To provide input to clinicians on the evidence base, the role, and the best use of lithium in patients with bipolar disorders.  

Pediatric Bipolar Disorder

Leads:  Benjamin Goldstein, Canada; Eric Youngstrom, USA

Members: Boris Birmaher, USA; Gabrielle Carlson, USA; Kiki Chang, USA; Christoph Correll, USA; Melissa Delbello, USA; John Fayyad, Lebanon; Robert Findling, USA; Jean Frazier, USA; Mary Fristad, USA; Manon Hillegers, The Netherlands; Hyo-Won Kim, S. Korea; Robert Kowatch, USA; Joan Luby, USA; David Miklowitz, USA; Guillermo Perez-Algorta, UK; Janet Wozniak, USA; Cristian Zeni, Brazil 

Over the past two decades there has been tremendous growth in the scientific literature regarding bipolar disorder (BD) among children and adolescents (i.e., pediatric BD). There are now numerous gold-standard clinical trials of pharmacological agents for mania, an increasing evidence base for adjunctive psychosocial treatments, several large-scale prospective clinical cohort studies, representative epidemiologic studies (particularly focused on adolescents) with international representation, numerous neurocognitive and neuroimaging studies, and an accelerating number of biomarker studies being published. Despite the volume, quality, and international spectrum of the available literature, and despite general consensus of some of the field’s previously most divisive and controversial topics, there remains a perspective in the popular press, other branches of medicine, and even within the profession of psychiatry that the field of pediatric BD lacks evidence and is replete with controversy.

Therefore, the primary goal of the task force is to Distill (the extant literature), Dispel (myths or exaggerated assertions) in the field, and Disseminate (clinically relevant findings). A complementary goal is to highlight future directions that may best serve to mitigate the limitations of the existing evidence in this important area.

Expected outcomes:

  1. Scientific updates from the Pediatric BD Task Force at each ISBD annual meeting, accompanied by opportunities for discussion groups, clinically oriented sessions, and collaborative presentations with consumers and other stakeholders.
  2. A manuscript authored by Pediatric BD Task Force members, focusing on parsing themes of consensus from controversy, and on articulating a five-year agenda of research priorities.
  3. Increasing engagement of stakeholders including patients and families, educational institutions, consumer advocacy groups, other branches of medicine, allied health professionals, and teachers.

Prospective Offspring Studies and Treatment Trials (POST)

Lead(s): Jan Scott (UK), Anne Duffy (Canada), Philip Mitchell (Australia), Wilem Nolen (The Netherlands).

Members: Frank Bellivier, France; Boris Birmaher, USA; Elisa Brietzke, Brazil; Melissa Green, Australia; Paul Grof, Canada; Manon Hillegers, The Netherlands;  Lars Kessing, Denmark; Josephine Loftus, Monaco; Willem Nolen, The Netherlands;  John Nurnberger, USA; David Miklowitz, USA; Martin Preisig, Switzerland

A group of researchers who are involved in prospective offspring studies and/or undertaking studies of potential treatment interventions for high-risk offspring agreed that collaboration and dialogue between the research teams would be both timely and valuable. As such, a Task Force has been convened to establish peer support and foster learning between existing and/or novice groups and potentially to facilitate longer-term collaborative ventures and/or data sharing.


  1. To undertake a mapping exercise using Survey Monkey to gain an up-to-date picture of the ‘state of the art’ in terms of existing and planned offspring studies
  2. Click here to share study information:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/bipolaroffspring
  3. To provide a resource to ISBD Members, such as educational workshops and webinars
  4. To examine similarities and differences in study methodologies, findings and types of interventions employed
  5. To develop a collaborative network between groups to enhance the opportunities for future research or data sharing.  



Leads: Martin Alda, Canada; Flavio Kapczinski, Canada; Ralph Kupka, The Netherlands

Members: Jorge Almeida, USA; Ana Andreazza, Canada; Vincent Balanza, Spain; Ross Baldessarini, USA; Michael Berk, Australia; Boris Birmaher, USA; David Bond, USA; Eliza Brietzke, Brazil; Ines Chendo, Portugal; USA; Anne Duffy, Canada; Benicio Frey, Canada; Iria Grande, Spain; Tomas Hajek, Canada; Manon Hillegers, The Netherlands; Rodrigo Mansur, Brazil; Robert Post, USA; USA; Jan Scott, UK; Marcia Kauer Sant’Anna, Brazil; Mauricio Tohen, USA; Gustavo Vazquez, Canada; Eduard Vieta, Spain; Lakshmi Yatham, Canada


Lead: Ketil Oedegaard, Norway

Members: Abdullah Aldaoud, Saudi Arabia; Carlo Altamura, Italy; Yatan Pal Singh Balhara, India; Robert Belmaker, Israel; Lesley Berk, Australia; Michael Berk, Australia; Harriet Birabwa, Uganda; Sibel Cakir, Turkey; Steven Dilsaver, USA; Ole Bernt Fasmer, Norway; Juan Francisco Galvez, Colombia; Oscar Heeren, Peru; Christine Oedegaard, Norway; Danilo Quiroz, Chile; Stephanie Salcedo, USA; Manuel Sanchez, Mexico; Christian Simhandl, Austria; Mauricio Tohen, USA; Gustavo Vazquez, Argentina; Eric Youngstrom, USA

Targeting Cognition

Lead: Kamilla Miskowiak, Denmark

Members: Caterina del Mar Bonnin, Spain; Emre Bora, Turkey; Christopher Bowie, Canada; Kate Burdick, USA; Joseph Calabrese, USA; Andre Carvalho, Brazil; Peter Gallagher, UK; Guy Goodwin, UK; Joseph Goldberg, USA; Lars Kessing, Denmark; Benny Lafer, Brazil; Carlos Lopez-Jaramillo, Colombia; Anabel Martinez-Aran, Spain; Roger McIntyre, Canada; Kazuyuki Nakagome, Japan; Richard Porter, New Zealand; Scot Purdon, Canada; Lucy Robinson, UK; Ayal Schaffer, Canada; Sumiyoshi Tomiki, Japan; Ivan Torres, Canada; Tamsyn E Van Rheenan, Australia; Eduard Vieta, Spain; Lakshmi Yatham, Canada; Allan Young, UK


There are no clinically available treatments for cognitive impairments in bipolar disorder despite intense research interest into novel treatments and a pressing clinical need for cognition treatments to improve prognosis, enhance functional recovery and reduce societal costs.  The lack of effective treatments is partially due to major methodological challenges in the field.  The objectives of the task force are therefore to create:

  1. For researchers: Guidance for the methodology and design of cognition trials in bipolar disorder based on the methodological lessons learnt from extant cognition trials.
  2. For clinicians: Clinical recommendations on how to address cognitive impairments in the clinical management of bipolar disorder. 
  3. For patients: Patient booklet with information about the nature of cognitive impairments in bipolar disorder and a practical guide on how to facilitate cognitive capacity (sleep, alcohol, breaks, etc.) and for how to compensate for the cognitive problems in daily life. 

Women’s Health

Lead: Aysegul Ozerdem, Turkey

Members: Veerle Bergink, The Netherlands; William Bobo, USA; Crystal Clark, USA;  Irma Corlay-Noriega, Mexico; Rodrigo Dias, Brazil; Arianna DeFlorio, USA; Benicio Frey, Canada; Mark Frye, USA; Bart Geerling, The Netherlands; Wendy Marsh, USA; Roger McIntyre, Canada; Luciano Minuzzi, Canada; Shaila Misri, Canada; Trine Munk-Olsen, Denmark; Natalie Rasgon, USA; Jan Scott, UK; Verinder Sharma, Canada; Anja Stevens, The Netherlands


  1. To define and increase awareness on female gender specific problems in bipolar disorder from bio-psycho-social perspectives
  2. To promote problem focused collaborative research, and developing treatment, monetarization and safety guidelines for treatment of women in reproductive and menopausal ages. Bipolar illness and improving quality of care of our patients from a bio-psycho-social perspective 
  3. To become a leading force in the field in exploring unmet medical and psycho-social needs, and finding solutions to these needs

Expected Outcomes:
The task force has recently chosen to focus on pregnant, peri- and post-partum women for the time being. For the short term, we expect to gather data from different parts of the world on how pregnant and lactating women with bipolar disorder are being treated. For the mid-term, we expect to provide a consensus of experts on how to guide treatment and care of this special population.


Leads: Benjamin Goldstein, Canada; Jess Fiedorowicz, USA

Members: Bernhard Baune, Australia; David Bond, USA; Pao-Huan Chen, Taiwan; Lisa Eyler, USA; Andrea Fagiolini, Italy; Fabiano Gomes, Brazil; Tomas Hajek, Canada; Jessica Hatch, Canada; Susan McElroy, USA; Roger McIntyre, Canada; Urban Osby, Sweden; Miguel Prieto, Chile; Louisa Sylvia, USA; Shang-Ying Tsai, Taiwan 


The goals of this task force are to summarize the state of the literature regarding vascular factors and bipolar disorder, and to articulate an agenda for future progress.  It is well recognized that bipolar disorder is associated with elevated vascular risk, that this risk exceeds what can be explained by traditional cardiovascular risk factors (e.g. obesity, hypertension), that this risk is associated with bipolar disorder subtypes and with mood symptom burden, and that this risk is observed internationally.  Perhaps less recognized are the implications that the bipolar-vascular link has on biomarker discovery, novel therapeutic approaches, and stigma reduction efforts.  This task force will undertake efforts to consolidate, distill, contextualize, and critique the extant literature, and will take steps toward knowledge translation and dissemination through a primary manuscript, web-based lecture series, and engagement of stake holders including colleagues in other branches of medicine, allied health professions, and consumer advocacy groups, for the purpose of maximizing impact.  

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