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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2000 Oct;39(10):1245-52.

Prodromal symptoms before onset of manic-depressive disorder suggested by first hospital admission histories.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Miami School of Medicine, USA.



A priority for research on manic-depressive or bipolar I disorder (BPI) for children and adolescents has been to search for early predictors of the illness.


Medical record data were reviewed and systematically coded for a sample of 58 adult patients (32 males/26 females) with confirmed diagnoses of BPI to identify prodromal features and possible patterns of symptoms from the Amish Study.


The most frequently reported symptoms included episodic changes in mood (depressed and irritable) and energy plus anger dyscontrol, with no significant gender differences. A progression of ages is seen for the most commonly reported symptoms prior to age 16. The time interval was 9 to 12 years between appearance of the first symptoms and onset of a documented BPI syndrome.


The data suggest testable hypotheses about specific symptoms and behaviors that may be useful for the early detection of children at highest risk for developing manic-depressive disorder.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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