Measures of attention and hyperactivity symptoms in a high-risk sample of children of bipolar parents.
BACKGROUND:To determine whether significant symptoms of inattention were present among the offspring of well-characterized bipolar parents. METHODS:We included 53 offspring of 30 parents meeting DSM-IV criteria for bipolar disorder diagnosed by consensus on the basis of a SADS-L interview and a wealth of longitudinal clinical data. The unaffected parent had no lifetime history of a major psychiatric illness. Offspring, prospectively followed for up to 5 years, completed psychometric measures of attention and mood when judged to be at a good level of functioning (well, remitted or treated). RESULTS:Those offspring with any lifetime psychiatric diagnosis endorsed more subjective problems with attention. However, there was no measurable difference on tasks of sustained attention between those with and those without a lifetime psychiatric illness including affective disorder. There was a significant association between self-reported symptoms of depression and inattention, but no association between either self-report measure and an objective measure of sustained attention. LIMITATIONS:This study was not intended to be a comprehensive neuropsychological investigation of at risk offspring. CONCLUSIONS:In this high-risk population, subjective difficulty with attention appeared to be state-dependent, associated with the degree of subjective distress related to an underlying psychiatric illness.
Duffy, A; Grof, P; Kutcher, S; Robertson, C; Alda, M
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