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Delayed treatment of childhood-onset bipolar disorder results in negative outcome in adults

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22% to 28% of the adults studied experienced the onset of bipolar disorder prior to the age of 13. In the interval between onset of illness and initial treatment, patients are at risk of disability and comorbid conditions such as anxiety and substance abuse. Moreover, some children with bipolar disorder are diagnosed with ADHD or depression and receive treatment for long periods of time with only stimulants or antidepressants, rather than combination medications such as mood stabilizers or atypical antipsychotics, as recommended in most treatment guidelines for bipolar disorder. As stated by Dr. Russell Scheffer from the Medical College of Wisconsin in an editorial that accompanies the study, The information contained in this report and additional mounting evidence suggest that early detection, diagnosis, and treatment are essential for determining effective treatment outcomes and, subsequently, quality of life for those affected with bipolar disorder. Earlier recognition and treatment of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents could positively impact the course of illness.


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Contact: Alice M. Landwehr
journal.pediatrics@cchmc.org
513-636-7140
Elsevier Health Sciences
1-May-2007


Page: 1 2

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