Clinical and neuropsychological characteristics of child and adolescent bipolar disorder
Background. The diagnosis of bipolar disorder in pre-pubertal populations remains difficult and often controversial. Consequently, the clinical and neuropsychological characteristics of mania in the child and adolescent years remain poorly defined. This review provides a clinical account of childhood and adolescent bipolar disorder and compares the neuropsychology and neuroanatomy of young BPD patients compared with adult BPD and childhood syndromes of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and conduct disorder (CD).
Method. Literature review based on Pubmed searches.
Results. Early- and adult-onset mania and BPD may share a common pattern of neurobiological characteristics despite developmental variations in the clinical presentation. In contrast, important distinctions are apparent between the child-onset syndromes of BPD, ADHD and CD, specifically at the neural level.
Conclusions. Disorders of affect dysregulation in childhood deserve closer neuroscientific and phenotypic scrutiny than given hitherto.(Published Online March 28 2006)
c1 Developmental Psychiatry Section, University of Cambridge, Douglas House, 18b Trumpington Road, Cambridge. CB2 2AH. United Kingdom. (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)