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The emotional brain in youth
Date:9/4/2011

lly superimposed on a number of diverse developmental and psychiatric conditions (Carlson, 2005). Recent studies have shown that 'manic symptoms' in children may be more common than once thought. The need to avoid confusing terminology with bipolar disorder is now consensual (Dickstein, 2010). Whether chronic manic symptoms in children represent (1) a developmental disorder that will change during adulthood; (2) an early onset bipolar I disorder; (3) a new subtype of bipolar disorder (e.g. chronic with rapid cycling); or (4) a developmental risk of later bipolar I disorder (narrow phenotype) still needs further research (Carlson, 2005).

A developmental view is crucial to understanding the complex of manic symptoms in children and adolescents.

Is there a continuum between paediatric bipolar disorder and bipolar type I disorder in adolescents?

There are very few arguments to support the hypothesis that bipolar disorder in adolescents (clearly defined illness episodes and so-called euthymic periods without any symptoms) and so-called 'paediatric bipolar disorder' are the same disorder or two disorders related in a common continuum. Furthermore, youths with bipolar disorder and comorbid ADHD tend to be less responsive to drugs used in bipolar disorder, suggesting that chronic manic symptoms comorbid with ADHD in youth may not be the same condition or a continuum rather than typical cycloid bipolar disorder (Consoli et al., 2007).

A novel approach suggests a phenotypic system of juvenile mania consisting of a narrow phenotype, two intermediate phenotypes, and a broad phenotype (Leibenluft et al., 2003). The narrow phenotype of mania includes mostly adolescents with clear-cut episodes of euphoric mania. On the other hand, the broad phenotype called Severe Mood Dysregulation is exhibited by younger patients who have a chronic, non-episodic course of illness that does not include the hallmark symptoms
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Contact: Sonja Mak
s.mak@update.europe.at
431-405-5734
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Source:Eurekalert

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