Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among individuals with bipolar disorder. Diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and obesity are among the most common diseases in bipolar disorder and are also the leading risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This medical burden is highlighted by individuals with bipolar disorder having nearly three times more medical admissions than other behavioral health care diagnoses. Although it is unclear why the medical burden in bipolar disorder is so high, it is a primary concern for the treatment of the disease. Dr. Sylvia will discuss this medical burden, its importance in managing bipolar disorder, and ways to overcome it. Specifically, she has developed a therapy called "NEW Tx" which is composed of the following treatment modules: Nutrition/weight loss, Exercise, andWellness treatment (Tx). She will review the rationale for this therapy as well as ways that you can start doing some of the strategies to begin a healthier lifestyle.
Dr. Louisa Sylvia is a staff psychologist and is Associate Director of Psychology at Bipolar Clinic and Research Program (BCRP) at Massachusetts General Hospital and is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. Currently, Dr. Sylvia's major research interests are developing psychosocial interventions for serious mental illness, particularly improving the management of exercise, nutrition, and sleep in this clinical population. She was awarded a K23 Career Development grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to develop Nutrition/diet, Exercise, and Wellness Treatment (i.e., "NEW Tx") for bipolar disorder. Dr. Sylvia has published over 35 peer-reviewed manuscripts in her area of specialization as well as presented her work at numerous local, national and international conferences. Dr. Sylvia is also the Director of Clinical Operations of the Bipolar Trials Network (BTN). Additionally, Dr. Sylvia is dedicated to patient care. She is a trained Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist and maintains an active caseload of individuals with bipolar disorder.