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Bipolar Kids Suffer as Adults, Too

Study Shows Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder May Continue in Adulthood

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Gary Sachs, MD, the director of the Bipolar Clinic and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, agrees that the study provides vital information for moving the conversation about childhood bipolar disorder forward.

"The article is important because it suggests that there are a fair number of detectable cases in children and that a number of them continue to express the illness after adulthood," says Sachs. "We all have to recognize that these kids are out there, and now that we say they exist, let's identify them appropriately with a formal diagnostic process."

The study also provides an important foundation for future research, writes Ellen Leibenluft, MD, of the National Institute of Mental Health, in an editorial that accompanied the study.

"The publication reflects our field's continuing efforts to nurture development conceptualizations of psychiatric illnesses," she writes. "Such conceptualizations hold the hope of fostering work that will allow us to treat youth with bipolar disorder more effectively and eventually give us the knowledge base needed to prevent the onset of bipolar disorder in youth at risk."

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