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J Affect Disord. 2004 Oct;82 Suppl 1:S17-23.

A prospective follow-up study of pediatric bipolar disorder in boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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  • 1WACC 725, Massachusetts General Hospital, Pediatric Psychopharmacology Unit, MGH, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.



To examine patterns of persistence and remission in pediatric bipolar disorder attending to syndromatic, symptomatic, functional and affective definitions of remission of bipolar symptomatology in a longitudinal sample of ADHD children with comorbid bipolar disorder.


ADHD boys (128) were followed over 1- and 4-year follow-up assessments with structured diagnostic interviews to assess the persistence of psychiatric comorbidity. The course and duration of bipolar disorder was estimated by calculating the time from age at onset and the age at remission reported at either the 1- or 4-year follow-up assessments.


Twenty-two (17%, Prevalent Cases) subjects met criteria for bipolar disorder at the baseline assessment. The average age of these subjects was 10.5+/-3.0 (range: 6 to 17 years) at baseline and 14.4+/-3.1 years of age at follow-up. The rate of remission was heavily dependent on the definition used. The rate of functional remission was the lowest and the rate of syndromatic remission was the highest. Regardless of the definition used, however, the disorder was chronic and lasted many years.


These data should be considered preliminary due to the sample size and the absence of mood symptom rating scales.


That less than 20% of subjects attained functional remission or euthymia over the entire time period evaluated provides further evidence that pediatric bipolar disorder is a chronic mood disorder with a poor prognosis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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