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Controlled study of switching from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder to a prepubertal and early adolescent bipolar I disorder phenotype during 6-year prospective follow-up: Rate, risk, and predictors

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 December 2006

Rate, risk, and predictors of switching from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to a prepubertal and early adolescent bipolar I disorder phenotype (PEA-BP-I) were examined in a blindly rated, controlled, prospective 6-year follow-up that included assessments at 2-year intervals. Subjects were outpatients obtained by consecutive new case ascertainment. There were 81 subjects who were 9.7 ± 2.0 years. Subjects had DSM-IV ADHD (hyperactive or combined subtypes); a Children's Global Assessment Scale (CGAS) score of ≤60, consistent with moderate–severe impairment; and no BP or major depressive disorder (MDD) diagnoses. PEA-BP-I was defined as DSM-IV BP I (manic or mixed phase), with cardinal symptoms (elation and/or grandiosity), to avoid diagnosing mania by symptoms that overlapped with those of ADHD, and by a CGAS score of ≤60. Morbid risk of switching to PEA-BP-I was 28.5%. Significant predictors of switching in a multivariate Cox model were more severe baseline CGAS, paternal recurrent MDD, and less stimulant use. BP I in first-degree relatives, antidepressants, psychosocial measures, and life events were not predictive.This work was supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grants R01 MH-53063 and R01 MH-57451 (to B.G.).

Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Barbara Geller, Department of Psychiatry, Washington University, St. Louis, 660 South Euclid Avenue, Box 8134, St. Louis, MO 63110-1093; E-mail:
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Development and Psychopathology
  • ISSN: 0954-5794
  • EISSN: 1469-2198
  • URL: /core/journals/development-and-psychopathology
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