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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2008 February;60(1):115-27

language: English

Timely diagnosis of comorbid pervasive developmental disorder and bipolar disorder

McDonnell M. A., Hamrin V., Moffett J., Durso S.

1 STEP UP for Kids, Inc. South Shore Psychiatric Services, PC Marshfield, MA, USA
2 School of Nursing Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
3 Crisis Evaluation Center McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA, USA


Little is know about the overlapping symptoms and comorbidity of pediatric bipolar disorder (BD) and pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) in youth. The aim of this study was to clearly differentiate the symptoms, understand the prevalence and patterns of comorbid presentations, as well as to provide a summary of evidence-based research findings to improve timely diagnosis and treatment for comorbid PDD and BD in children and adolescents, and to provide clinicians with evidence-based research findings of the similarity and differences in symptom presentation, the epidemiology, and diagnostic strategies used by experts in the fields of PDD and pediatric BD. The sources for this study were published review and research articles. According to the results obtained, it can be observed that studies evaluating the epidemiology, symptom presentation and diagnosis of comorbid BD and PDD are limited. However, research studies identified a clear overlap in symptoms between the two disorders and the existence of comorbid PDD and BD. Children with PDD and comorbid BD may be significantly impaired. More extensive research is needed to facilitate timely diagnosis and treatment to improve quality of life and outcomes in this population.

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