Troubled children diagnosed with bipolar disorder may fare better with a different diagnosis, according to researchers at The Hastings Center.
The researchers support an emerging approach, which gives many of those children a new diagnosis called Severe Mood Dysregulation (SMD) or Temper Dysregulation Disorder with Dysphoria (TDD).
The findings come soon after proposed revisions to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) were opened to public comment.
In a paper published in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health,Erik Parens and Josephine Johnston examine the evolution of the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children and its dramatic increase since the mid 1990s, after the criteria for diagnosis broadened. They emphasize that there is vigorous debate in pediatric psychiatry about whether symptoms in children accurately reflect the criteria for bipolar disorder, particularly for mania.
The increase in cases has led to concerns about accurately defining psychiatric disorders in children as well as the safety and efficacy of resulting pharmacological treatment.
It is difficult to diagnose psychiatric disorders in children, Parens and Johnston write, and many children receiving bipolar diagnoses exhibit behaviors that do not closely fit the disease’s criteria. “Using new labels such as SMD or TDD reflects that physicians do not yet know exactly what is wrong with these children or how to treat it,” said Johnston. “Facing up to this uncertainty could lead to better treatment recommendations and more accurate long-term prognosis.” A new diagnostic category would also help reframe the research agenda.
Their findings come from an interdisciplinary series of workshops funded by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. Participants included psychiatrists, pediatricians, educators, bioethicists, parents, and social scientists. Erik Parens is a senior research scholar and Josephine Johnston a research scholar at The Hastings Center, a bioethics research institution.
Among the workshop conclusions:
- The bipolar label may fit poorly many of the children who have received it over the last decade.
- There is debate about what children’s symptoms represent. For example, what is characterized as mania in children is very different from its features in adults. Mania is a hallmark feature of bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic-depressive disorder.
- The bipolar label, which has a strong genetic component, can distract from addressing the family or social context.
- Physicians must be forthcoming with families about uncertainties and complexities in the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder in children.
- Current training practices and reimbursement policies may leave some psychiatrists and pediatricians unable to deliver the comprehensive care that these children need.
The authors also note that, while experts sometimes disagree about labels, the workshop group universally agreed that “children and families can suffer terribly as a result of serious disturbances in children’s moods and behaviors,” and that these troubled children desperately need help. They also write, “It is a deeply regrettable feature of our current mental health and educational systems that some DSM diagnoses are better than others at getting children and families access to [needed] care and services.”
Contact: Michael Tuton, Communications Associate, email@example.com, 845-424-4040, ext. 242
Michael Turton | EurekAlert!
A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure
24.11.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital
New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University
High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons
The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...
Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences