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Bipolar Disorder Common in Hospitalized Adolescents

K-SADS Mania Rating Scale is useful in diagnosis

FRIDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Bipolar disorder may be more common in adolescents than previously thought, with nearly one in five teenagers admitted to an inpatient psychiatric hospital affected, researchers report in the December issue of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.

Jeffrey I. Hunt, M.D., of Brown Medical School and Bradley Hospital in Providence, R.I., and colleagues studied 391 consecutive admissions to an adolescent inpatient psychiatric hospital over a one-year period. The patients, aged 12 to 18, were screened for manic symptoms and bipolar spectrum disorders using the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia Mania Rating Scale (K-SADS MRS) and the Childhood Inventory of Psychiatric Syndromes (ChIPS).

Overall, 19.6% of adolescents received a consensus diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The K-SADS MRS was useful in distinguishing bipolar from non-bipolar patients when parents rated symptoms, but not adolescents. The researchers found that a K-SADS MRS cutoff score between 44 and 50 allowed moderate sensitivity and specificity, ruling out bipolar disorder for patients scoring below this range and requiring further assessment for patients above this range.

"This study of non-selected adolescents over a one-year period demonstrates that bipolar spectrum disorders in an inpatient population are common, and that the use of the K-SADS MRS is effective in identifying this syndrome," Hunt and colleagues conclude.

Abstract
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