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Bipolar disorder in a prepubescent child.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City.


Early onset bipolar affective disorder (BAD) is a relatively rare psychiatric disturbance in childhood and early adolescence. Its diagnosis is difficult due to the presentation of symptoms suggestive of other psychiatric illnesses. The literature on BAD in children is reviewed with emphasis on the clinical picture, predictive factors, and pharmacotherapy. Illustrations of these points are made through the use of a case report of a boy who first presented with symptoms at age 7.

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