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

(Taieb et al., 2002), and adolescents treated with ECT do not suffer measurable cognitive impairment at long-term follow-up (Cohen et al., 2000). In addition, an assessment of patients and parents experiences and attitudes towards the use of ECT in adolescence indicates that, despite negative views about ECT in public opinion, adolescent recipients and their parents share overall positive attitudes towards ECT (Taieb et al., 2001).

Future perspectives

In the past decade, structural and functional imaging studies via magnetic resonance (MRI, fMRI) have yielded greater understanding of the neurobiology of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents. Since current findings indicate that youths with bipolar disorder have fundamental alterations in the brain/behaviour interactions that underlie emotional processing, future studies could evaluate how medications or psychotherapies can ameliorate these brain/behaviour interactions (Dickstein, 2010). The European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) supports networks of clinicians who seek to improve treatment in children with bipolar disorder. Since early intervention may improve diagnosis, treatment studies are an important objective for future research in Europe (Goodwin et al., 2008).

Conclusion

In recent years, a considerable increase in the number of children and adolescents evaluated, diagnosed and treated for bipolar disorder has been noted.

Bipolar-like symptoms are quite frequent in prepubertal children, but the age at which bipolar disorder can first be diagnosed remains controversial. Current neurobiological findings have advanced our understanding of emotional function and dysfunction in youth.

Developmental aspects and environmental factors are crucial regarding the onset and progression of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents. From a developmental view, bipolar disorder in adolescents and so-called 'paediatric bipolar disorder' ar
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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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