Bipolar disorder continues in adulthood
Children diagnosed with bipolar I disorder continued to have manic episodes as young adults
diagnosed with bipolar disorder
continued to have manic episodes as young adults and also have a high rate of substance abuse.
Bipolar disorder involves recurrent episodes of mania and depression
that usually recur across the lifespan. Between episodes, most people with bipolar disorder are free of symptoms. However, 33 percent people may have residual symptoms and a small percentage will have chronic unremitting symptoms, despite treatment.
Researchers from America investigated the continuity of child and adult bipolar disorder and characteristics of later episodes. They studied 115 children between 7 and 16 years of age who had experienced a mixed and manic episode of bipolar disorder and were followed up again after 8 years. The data regarding severity of the illness was collected by taking separate interviews of the children and their parents.
It was found that, out of 115 children, of the 54 patients who were 18 years old or older at the time of the 8-year follow up, 24 had at least one episode of mania, which was about 44 times higher than the rate in the general population and 35 percent were also involved in substance abuse. Characteristics of the second and third mania episodes, including long episode duration, psychosis and daily rotation from mania to depression showed that the children still had significant illness.
The findings support that children with bipolar disorder become adults with bipolar disorder, thus adding validation for the existence of the child bipolar disorder diagnosis. The researchers concluded that the severity and chronicity of this disorder argues strongly for large efforts toward understanding the neurobiology and for developing prevention and intervention strategies.
Archives of General Psychiatry
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