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Panminerva Medica 1999 June;41(2):153-6

language: English

Panic dis­or­der in chil­dren and ado­les­cents

Masi G., Favilla L. Romano R.

From the Department of Developmental Neurology Psychiatry and Educational Psychology University of Pisa, Italy Scientific Institute Stella Maris, Pisa, Italy


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Panic dis­or­der (PD) is a ­well-­known and fre­quent­ly ­described psy­chi­at­ric dis­or­der in ­adults, ­that can ­cause clin­i­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant dis­tress and impair­ment of ­social and occu­pa­tion­al func­tion­ing. It is char­ac­ter­ized by a dis­crete peri­od of ­intense ­fear and dis­com­fort, ­that devel­ops abrupt­ly and reach­es a ­peak in 10 min­utes or ­less, ­with oth­er somat­ic and cog­ni­tive symp­toms. PD in prep­u­ber­tal chil­dren and ear­ly ado­les­cents in rare­ly report­ed, but 18% of ­adult ­patients ­with PD indi­cate ­onset of PA ­before 10 ­years of age. Probably ­many of the prep­u­ber­tal cas­es are ­being mis­di­ag­nosed, and/or ­they can ­have a dif­fer­ent clin­i­cal expres­sion ­from ­adults. The ­lack of iden­tifi­ca­tion of ­these affect­ed sub­jects can ­have seri­ous con­se­quenc­es on ­social and aca­dem­ic devel­op­ment. The aim of ­this ­paper is to ­review clin­i­cal lit­er­a­ture describ­ing PD in chil­dren and ado­les­cents. Prevalence, spec­i­fic­ity of clin­i­cal fea­tures, comor­bid­ity, instrum­ents for diag­no­sis are ­described. Directions in phar­mac­o­log­i­cal, psy­cho­ther­a­peu­tic and edu­ca­tion­al man­age­ment of PD in chil­dren and ado­les­cents are sug­gest­ed.

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