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J Affect Disord. 1998 Nov;51(2):177-87.

Mania and ADHD: comorbidity or confusion.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 11794-8790, USA.


The frequency of occurrence of prepubertal mania is contingent on how much adherence to episodic disorder with separate periods of mania and depression is required. While manic symptoms superimposed on other psychiatric disorders is not uncommon, non-comorbid bipolar disorder is rare. A number of developmental, phenomenological and assessment considerations may complicate simple extrapolation of adult criteria onto young children. Nevertheless, it is clear that a significant number of preadolescents found in outpatient and inpatient samples meet at least symptom criteria for bipolar disorder. Such children have significant comorbidity and impairment. It is likely that some may develop classical bipolar disorder, some will continue to have substantial affective and behavioral comorbidity as do some complicated bipolar adults, and some will continue to have affective lability superimposed on their other, primary psychiatric disorders. Further research and follow-up will be necessary to determine who develops which outcome.

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