BACKGROUND: Recent studies have demonstrated high rates of psychopathology in the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder. The aim of this study was to identify psychiatric diagnoses in a sample of children of bipolar parents. METHOD: This case series comprised 35 children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years, with a mean age of 12.5¡2.9 years (20 males and 15 females), who had at least one parent with bipolar disorder type I. The subjects were assessed using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children - Present and Lifetime version (K-SADS-PL). Family psychiatric history and demographics were also evaluated. RESULTS: Of the offspring studied, 71.4% had a lifetime diagnosis of at least one psychiatric disorder (28.6% with a mood disorder, 40% with a disruptive behavior disorder and 20% with an anxiety disorder). Pure mood disorders (11.4%) occurred less frequently than mood disorders comorbid with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (17.1%). Psychopathology was commonly reported in second-degree relatives of the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder (71.4%). CONCLUSIONS: Our results support previous findings of an increased risk for developing psychopathology, predominantly mood and disruptive disorders, in the offspring of bipolar individuals. Prospective studies with larger samples are needed to confirm and expand these results.
- Bipolar disorder
ASJC Scopus subject areas