A Commentary on Youth Onset Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar disorders Singh, M. K., Post, R. M., Miklowitz, D. J., Birmaher, B., Youngstrom, E., Goldstein, B., Soutullo, C., Axelson, D., Chang, K. D., DelBello, M. P. 2021


AIM: Given ongoing disagreement about the diagnosis of pediatric bipolar disorder, we sought to illuminate key empirical findings regarding the condition in children and adolescents.METHODS: We conducted a review of extant studies of the diagnosis, course, and treatment bipolar disorder in children and adolescents.RESULTS: Bipolar disorder is a lifelong, familial condition with frequent onset in childhood or adolescence. Secular trends indicate that globally, the onset of puberty is occurring earlier, which may contribute to increased identification of mood disorders in younger populations. Despite opinions to the contrary, bipolar disorder has been observed in youth around the world, not just in the U.S. Discrete and episodic manic symptoms occur on a continuum/spectrum of severity and duration. Clinicians may be just as likely to miss mania (false negatives) as over-call it (false positives). As is true in adults, periodicity and heterogeneity are defining features of early-onset bipolar disorder. Youth who are misdiagnosed and undiagnosed tend to do poorly over the long-term. Youth with and at risk for bipolar disorder are frequently exposed to maltreatment, abuse, and bullying. Fortunately, there are now many evidence-based interventions that have been studied in thousands of youth with or at high risk for bipolar disorder, demonstrating large effect sizes for evaluated treatments versus comparative treatments.CONCLUSION: Identifying optimal methods for evaluation and treatment of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents represent important advances in the field. Recognizing the occurrence of mania symptoms in youth is pivotal for improving outcomes in patients living with bipolar disorder.

View details for DOI 10.1111/bdi.13148

View details for PubMedID 34689401