The changing face of bipolar disorder: adolescence to adulthood.

Gna Ka Lun Adolescent Mental Health Unit, Sydney South West Area Health Service, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Minerva pediatrica (Impact Factor: 0.43). 03/2008; 60(1):59-68.
Source: PubMed


Over the past decade, there has been greater acceptance of the existence of bipolar disorder (BD) in adolescents. The onset of BD during this period severely affects the acquisition of key developmental skills. Debate around diagnosis, comorbidity and treatment is strong and little is known about the long-term impact BD has on an adolescents as they approach adulthood, from both illness and functional perspectives. A review of psychological and medical databases using the search terms ''adolescent onset'', ''pediatric onset'', ''juvenile onset'', ''bipolar disorder'', ''course'' and ''outcome'' was conducted. Emphasis was placed on the information available from studies, which have described the outcome of adolescent onset BD either prospectively, retrospectively, or both. Twelve studies were identified that focused on the long-term course of adolescent onset BD. Findings on the course and outcomes are conflicting. These studies are from few centres or research groups and have small sample sizes, varied methodologies and relatively brief follow-up durations. There are few studies available on the course and outcome of adolescent onset BD. Although there seems to be less controversy in this age group compared to the prepubertal age group, there remains a need for prospective studies of large systematically ascertained samples.

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    • "Available outcome studies of this group of children paint a bleak picture [5–7]. Studies on the course of BD which onsets in childhood and adolescence have yielded differing results. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Despite controversy, bipolar disorder (BD) is being increasingly diagnosed in under 18s. There is scant information regarding its treatment and uncertainty regarding the status of "severe mood dysregulation (SMD)" and how it overlaps with BD. This article collates available research on treatment of BD in under 18s and explores the status of SMD. Methods. Literature on treatment of BD in under 18s and on SMD were identified using major search engines; these were then collated and reviewed. Results. Some markers have been proposed to differentiate BD from disruptive behaviour disorders (DBD) in children. Pharmacotherapy restricted to short-term trials of mood-stabilizers and atypical-antipsychotics show mixed results. Data on maintenance treatment and non-pharmacological interventions are scant. It is unclear whether SMD is an independent disorder or an early manifestation of another disorder. Conclusions. Valproate, lithium, risperidone, olanzapine, aripiprazole and quetiapine remain first line treatments for acute episodes in the under 18s with BD. Their efficacy in maintenance treatment remains unclear. There is no validated treatment for SMD. It is likely that some children who are currently diagnosed with BD and DBD and possibly most children currently diagnosed with SMD will be subsumed under the proposed category in the DSM V of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder with dysphoria.
    Depression research and treatment 01/2012; 2012:967302. DOI:10.1155/2012/967302