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October 6, 2008

Pediatric Bipolar Disorder Comes of Age

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008;65(10):1122-1124. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.65.10.1122

Extending previous seminal work on pediatric bipolar disorder (BD), Geller et al1 present the first longitudinal study following up a large sample of youth diagnosed with pediatric BD into adulthood. Beginning when the subjects had a mean (SD) age of 11.1 (2.6) years, the investigators followed up 115 patients with BD for 8 years, at which time 54 patients were older than 18 years. Of these, 44% had a manic episode after age 18 years, as ascertained by the Washington University in St Louis Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (WASH-U-KSADS), suggesting continuity with previously observed symptoms. Morbidity, in terms of weeks spent ill, was extremely high, and 35.2% had substance abuse disorders. Attrition in the study was remarkably low.

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