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Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,6
Online ISSN 1827-1898
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
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.