Childhood Bipolar Disorder
Doctor Ellen Leibenluft discusses recent research into childhood bipolar disorder, which is most commonly found in children with a family history of the disorder.
So in recent years there has been increased attention paid to the fact that children can get bipolar disorder. Weâ€™ve known for a very, very long time, really since the time of the Greeks that teenagers could develop bipolar disorder and in fact thatâ€™s a very common time for the illness to have its beginning, so you can often see it in teenagers or early adults. But in the last 15 years or so there has been more interest in the question of whether prepubertal children, children who havenâ€™t yet gone through puberty, whether they can also develop bipolar disorder. Itâ€™s very clear now that they can. There certainly are children who develop a form of bipolar disorder which looks very similar to what adults with bipolar disorder have; very similar kinds of symptoms. They tend to get episodes of mania as well as episodes of depression. There is some evidence that these children may have a particularly severe form of bipolar disorder, they have frequent episodes of mania and of depression. We believe that by and large the illness that weâ€™re seeing in children is relatively similar to the illness that we see in adults. Thatâ€™s still an area of active research and there really havenâ€™t been too many studies published that directly compare children with bipolar disorder to adults with bipolar disorder. In particular there havenâ€™t been studies that compare brain function in children with bipolar disorder and adults with bipolar disorder. We're actually analyzing data from some studies like that right now. We do know that children with bipolar disorder tend to have very strong family histories of bipolar disorder, so theyâ€™ll have parents with bipolar disorder [or] other relatives with bipolar disorder. Thatâ€™s one of the reasons we think that this is probably the same illness and not a different illness.
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Doctor Ellen Leibenluft discusses possible reasons for the dramatic increase in the rates of diagnosis in childhood bipolar disorder in the past decade.
Doctor Ellen Liebenluft explains that individuals with bipolar disorder can spend some time in a normal mood, which is called euthymia.
Doctor Ellen Leibenluft discusses the similarities between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, which have some genetic risk factors in common.
Doctor Ellen Leibenluft discusses some of the biochemicals that have been associated with bipolar disorder, including dopamine, serotonin, and glutamate.
Doctor Ellen Leibenluft explains that women and men are equally likely to develop bipolar disorder. Women are, however, more likely to develop the disorder after giving birth.
Doctor Ellen Leibenluft discusses the question of over-diagnosis in childhood bipolar disorder, which may be caused by a gap in diagnostic ctiteria.
Doctor Ellen Leibenluft describes how circadian rhythms, the 24-hour sleep-wake cycle, may be disrupted in bipolar disorder.
Professor Wayne Drevets explains that depression most commonly arises after puberty. There are exceptions, where it arises in childhood or in relatively late adulthood.
Doctor Ellen Leibenluft explains that although individuals with bipolar disorder can have trouble interpreting emotional expressions, this is much more subtle than in autism.
A review of the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatments of bipolar disorder.