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Suffered from anoxic brain injury in right frontal lobe and had bipolar. Can I get back to normal life?

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Addiction Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 1486 Questions
My sister suffered an anoxic brain injury in 2011. Before this injury she was diagnosed as bipolar. She was on many different psychiatric drugs for over 15 years. Since the injury she only takes 10mg of Abilify a day, her bipolar symptoms seem to have disappeared. The injury to her brain is in the right frontal lobe - she now complains of hearing voices. Typically happy voices, but sometimes she will say she needs to go to a psychiatrist. Her speech is very hard to understand and she has 24 hour care. I'm struggling with getting her back on psych meds - she is typically happy, but seems to be affected a few days per month with the "voices she hears"? Advice anyone?
Posted Mon, 18 Nov 2013 in Bipolar Disorder
Answered by Dr. Preeti Parakh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Hiking Abilify may solve her problem.

Detailed Answer:

Welcome to Healthcare Magic!

The voices that she is hearing can be due to brain injury or due to an independent psychiatric disorder. Whatever the cause, treatment with antipsychotic medicines usually is effective. She is already taking one antipsychotic medicine, Abilify, which seems to be working for her to some extent. Therefore, I feel that just hiking the dose of Abilify is a good option for her to reduce the hallucinations. She also may be more willing to continue with Abilify rather than try a new medicine.

If you can get her to see a psychiatrist, it will certainly be good. But if you cannot, try asking her present doctor to consider an increase in the dose of Abilify to around 15 mg per day. Please also ensure that she is compliant and does not miss her doses.

Hope this helps you. Please feel free to ask if you need any clarifications.

Best wishes.

Dr Preeti Parakh
MD Psychiatry
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