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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1997 Nov;36(11):1552-9; discussion 1559-60.

Mania in children with pervasive developmental disorder revisited.

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  • 1Pediatric Psychopharmacology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.



Although a small literature of case reports suggests that mania co-occurs with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), little is known about this overlap. The authors systematically investigated the overlap between mania and PDD in a consecutive sample of referred youths, examining its prevalence and correlates. It was hypothesized that children with PDD plus manic features have both disorders.


Subjects were consecutively referred children meeting diagnostic criteria on structured interview for PDD without mania (n = 52), the comorbid condition PDD + mania (n = 14), and mania without PDD (n = 114). All subjects were evaluated using a comprehensive diagnostic battery that included assessment of psychopathology (structured diagnostic interview and Child Behavior Checklist), cognition, and functioning.


Of the 727 referred children, 52 met criteria for PDD, 114 met criteria for mania, and 14 met criteria for both. The 14 children with both PDD + mania represented 21% of the PDD subjects and 11% of all manic subjects. Clinical characteristics of PDD were similar in PDD subjects with and without mania, and manic features were similar in manic children with and without PDD.


Children with PDD and mania may suffer from two disorders. Comorbid mania among patients with PDD may be more common than previously thought. Identification of the comorbid condition may have important therapeutic and scientific implications.

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