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Recurrence of bipolar spectrum disorders—a common issue among the affected population of young people

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What is the longitudinal symptom profile of young people with bipolar spectrum disorders?


A total 413 young people aged between 7 and 17 years (mean age: 12.8 years, male: 53.5%, mean duration of bipolar disorder: 3.3 years, mean age at onset of mood symptoms: 8.4 years) who were participants of the Course and Outcome of Bipolar Youth programme that recruited young people with bipolar I or II disorders (59.1% bipolar I, 6.8% bipolar II and 34.1% bipolar disorder not specified) on the basis of criteria provided by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). Study participants were recruited from outpatient clinics (67.6%), inpatient units (14.3%), advertisements (13.35%) and physician referral (4.8%). Young people with schizophrenia, mental retardation, autism or mood disorders secondary to substances, medication or medical conditions were excluded.


Interviews were conducted at universities in the USA; recruitment dates are not reported.

Prognostic factors:

Subtype of bipolar disorder, age, psychosis, age at bipolar onset, duration of bipolar disorder, presence of a co-morbid disorder and family history of mood disorders (measured using the Family History Screen).


Time to recovery from the index episode defined as the current or most recent DSM-IV–classified mood episode; time to recurrence (from the …

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  • Source of funding Individual authors were supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health.


  • Competing interests None.

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