Task Forces

Active Task Forces

Bipolar Disorder in Older Adults

Leads: Martha Sajatovic, USA; Kenneth Shulman, Canada

Members: Osvaldo Almeida, Australia; Rayan Aljurdi, USA; Jean-Michel Azorin, France; John Beyer, USA; PJ Chen, USA; Colin Depp, USA; Annemiek Dols, The Netherlands; Lisa Eyler, USA; Brent Forester, USA; Jennifer Gatchel, USA; Ari Gildengers, USA; Oscar Heeren, Peru; Lars Kessing, Denmark; Soham Rej, Canada; Siegried Schouws, The Netherlands; Sergio Strejilevich, Argentina; Shang-ying Tsai, Taiwan; Robert Young, 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: Martin Alda, Canada; Jay D. Amsterdam, USA; Ross J. Baldessarini, USA; Michael Bauer, Germany; Anne Berghӧfer, Germany; Michael Berk, Australia; Alberto Bocchatta, Italy; Thomas Bschor, Germany; Cynthia Calkin, Canada; Joseph Calabrese, USA; 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, Brazil; Lars Kessing, Denmark; Ralph Kupka, The Netherlands; Ute Lewitzka, Germany; Rasmus Licht, Denmark; Rodrigo Machado-Vieira, Brazil; Gin Malhi, Australia; Husseini Manji, USA; Bruno Müller-Oerlinghausen, Germany; Andrew Nierenberg, USA; Willem Nolen, The Netherlands; Isabella Pacchiarotti, Spain; Robert Post, USA; Janusz Rybakowski, Poland; Gary Sachs, USA; Thomas Schulze, Germany; Emanuel Severus, Germany; Jair Soares, USA; Trisha Suppes, USA; Mauricio Tohen, USA; Leonardo Tondo, USA; Eduard Vieta, Spain; Allan H. Young, UK; Trevor 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.  

The ISBD Bipolar Offspring Task Force is examining a number of key issues in and outcomes of bipolar offspring studies and is asking for your help in completing a survey.  Click here for details.


Leads: Flavio Kapczinski, Brazil 

Members: Martin Alda, Canada; Ana Andreazza, Canada; David Axelson, USA; Vincent Balanza, Spain; Ross Baldessarini, USA; Andreas Bechdolf, Germany; Michael Berk, Australia; Boris Birmaher, USA; David Bond, USA; Eliza Brietzke, Brazil; Ines Chendo, Portugal; Philippe Conus, Switzerland; Christoph Correll, USA; Melissa DelBello, USA; Rodrogo Dias, Brazil; Anne Duffy, Canada; Gianni Faedda, USA; Benicio Frey, Canada; Nassir Ghaemi, USA; Fabiano Gomes, Brazil; Iria Grande, Spain; Manon Hillegers, The Netherlands; Ursula Klumpers, The Netherlands; Ralph Kupka, The Netherlands; Beny Lafer, Brazil; Rodrigo Mansur, Brazil; Patrick McGorry, Canada; Andrew Nierenberg, USA; Andrea Pfenning, Germany; Robert Post, USA; Martin Preisig, Switzerland; Paola Salvatore, USA; Jan Scott, UK; Wendela ter Meulen, The Netherlands; Mauricio Tohen, USA; A. van der Markt, The Netherlands; Gustavo Vazquez, Argentina; J. Verduyn, The Netherlands; Vasco Luis Videira Veiga Dias, Portugal; Eduard Vieta, Spain; Lakshmi Yatham, Canada; Eric Youngstrom, USA  


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; Lucy Robinson, UK; Ayal Schaffer, Canada; Sumiyoshi Tomiki, Japan; Ivan Torres, Canada; 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; 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.

Join Our Community

Join ISBD today to forge connections, share knowledge, and access updated resources.


Explore Member Benefits

Learn more about the career development, education, networking, and other opportunities that come with an ISBD membership.



The 19th Annual Conference will be held in Washington D.C.  Check out conference information & upcoming important dates.