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Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2008 Apr;10(2):123-9.

Anxiety symptoms and syndromes in bipolar children and adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3440 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Anxiety disorders are relatively common in children and adolescents with bipolar disorder. Research to date indicates they may impact the onset, course, and treatment response of bipolar illness in children. Anxiety disorders often precede the onset of pediatric bipolar disorder. Family studies suggest first-degree relatives of bipolar patients are at increased risk for developing mood and anxiety disorders compared with relatives of individuals without mood disorders. Childhood adversity has been associated with higher rates of comorbid anxiety disorders and more severe illness course in bipolar patients. Preliminary study of the neurobiology of bipolar disorder with comorbid anxiety disorders suggests it may be neurophysiologically distinct from bipolar disorder without comorbid anxiety. Bipolar disorder with comorbid anxiety disorders has been associated with greater functional impairment and slower recovery. Prospective, longitudinal studies are needed to help us better understand the relationship between bipolar disorder and comorbid anxiety disorders so that opportunities for early intervention and effective treatment can be realized.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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