Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bipolar disorder in adolescence - recovery, recurrence and risk factors

Bipolar disorder usually occurs for the first time in adolescence but there have been relatively few long-term studies into how children diagnosed with bipolar disorder get on in the future and what the risk factors are which can lead to their condition re-occuring. A study of 71 teenagers in the U.S. found that the chances of having syndromal (some but not all of the symptoms clearing up), symptomatic (all of the symptoms clearing up but not being able to return to 'normal' life) and functional (a complete return to 'normal' life) recovery were 86%, 43% and 41% respectively. Only 35% of the teenagers complied fully with their drug treatments over the course of the study. Factors which made a relapse more likely were also having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or an anxiety disorder, disruptive behaviour, not taking one's medication and being from a 'lower' socioeconomic class. Drinking and not receiving psychotherapy were also associated with a higher rate of relapse. Boys were more than twice as likely as girls to make a symptomatic recovery.

DelBollo, Melissa P. ... [et al] - Twelve-month outcome of adolescents with bipolar disorder following first hospitalization for a manic or mixed episode American Journal of Psychiatry April 2007, 164(4), 582-590

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