Toward the Definition of a Bipolar Prodrome: Dimensional Predictors of Bipolar Spectrum Disorders in At-Risk Youths.
Objective:The authors sought to assess dimensional symptomatic predictors of new-onset bipolar spectrum disorders in youths at familial risk of bipolar disorder (“at-risk” youths).Method:Offspring 6–18 years old of parents with bipolar I or II disorder (N=359) and community comparison offspring (N=220) were recruited. At baseline, 8.4% of the offspring of bipolar parents had a bipolar spectrum disorder. Over 8 years, 14.7% of offspring for whom follow-up data were available (44/299) developed a new-onset bipolar spectrum disorder (15 with bipolar I or II disorder). Measures collected at baseline and follow-up were reduced using factor analyses, and factors (both at baseline and at the visit prior to conversion or last contact) were assessed as predictors of new-onset bipolar spectrum disorders.Results:Relative to comparison offspring, at-risk and bipolar offspring had higher baseline levels of anxiety/depression, inattention/disinhibition, externalizing, subsyndromal manic, and affective lability symptoms...
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