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Biol Psychiatry. 2003 Jun 1;53(11):961-9.

Is preadolescent mania the same condition as adult mania? A British perspective.

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  • 1University Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Pendlebury, Manchester, United Kingdom.


Until relatively recently, the prevailing view was that mania was uncommon in preadolescent children. In the past 15 years, however, there has been increasing interest in the idea that mania may be much more common at younger ages than previously recognized. This article is concerned with the issue of whether preadolescent mania represents the same kind of problem as adult mania. It reviews concepts of bipolar disorder and mania in adults and preadolescents, some of the issue that arise in diagnosing mania in children, and the evidence for continuities between preadolescent and adult mania. The diagnosis of mania in preadolescent children often requires that inferences are made about the meaning of some symptoms but it is not always clear that these inferences are valid. It is concluded that the extant evidence does not provide a clear conclusion about the links between preadolescent and adult mania. More work is needed on the phenomenology and diagnosis of mania in children, on its natural history and on its familial correlates.

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