Kiki Chang

Publication Details

  • Adult bipolar disorder is continuous with pediatric bipolar disorder CANADIAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY-REVUE CANADIENNE DE PSYCHIATRIE Chang, K. 2007; 52 (7): 418-425


    Considerable debate exists regarding the continuity of bipolar disorder (BD) in children and adolescents. Do affected children continue to have BD as adults? Are pediatric forms of BD distinct from adult forms of the disorder? Here, I argue that, in fact, strictly defined BD I and II in children and adolescents is continuous with adult BD. First, if we take developmental differences into account, children and adults share similar symptoms, since they are both diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria. Next, retrospective studies indicate that 50% to 66% of adults with BD had onset of their disorder before age 19 years. Early prospective data indicate that adolescents with BD progress to become young adults with BD. Further, family studies of pediatric BD probands find high rates of BD in adult relatives, and pediatric offspring of parents with BD have elevated rates of BD, compared with control subjects. Finally, biological characteristics of pediatric BD (such as treatment response, neurobiology, and genetics) are either shared with adults having BD or fit logically into developmental models of BD. Thus, while not conclusive, a preponderance of data support the hypothesis that pediatric BD is continuous with adult BD. Prospective studies incorporating phenomenological and biological assessment are needed to decisively address this issue.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000248207500003

    View details for PubMedID 17688005

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