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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2007 Feb;46(2):197-204.

Childhood-onset bipolar disorder: Evidence for increased familial loading of psychiatric illness.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown Medical School, Providence, RI, USA. Richard_Rende@Brown.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether childhood-onset bipolar disorder (BP) is associated with an increased psychiatric family history compared with adolescent-onset BP.

METHOD:

Semistructured psychiatric interviews were conducted for 438 youth with BP spectrum disorders. To evaluate the effects of age at onset and psychiatric family history, the sample was divided into childhood-onset BP (age and BP onset <12 years; n = 192), adolescents with early-onset BP (age > or =12 years and BP onset <12 years; n = 136), and adolescents with late-onset BP (age and BP onset > or =12 years; n = 110). Lifetime family history of psychiatric illness was ascertained for first- and second-degree relatives through both direct interview of caretakers and the Family History Screen.

RESULTS:

After significant demographic and clinical factors were controlled for, children and adolescents with childhood-onset BP showed higher percentages of positive first-degree family history for depression, anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity, conduct, and substance dependence disorders and suicidal behaviors compared with adolescents with late onset. Subjects with childhood-onset BP also showed elevated familial loading for depression and attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder in second-degree relatives.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data support a model that postulates a higher density of familial risk for a broad range of psychopathology in childhood-onset BP.

PMID:
17242623
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2041890
Free PMC Article
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