01:24am Tuesday 28 January 2020

Medical Update Examines Bipolar Disorder

While the outward symptoms are behavioral, there are also less-visible, cognitive, cardiac, metabolic effects from the illness. A variety of symptoms may start to appear during childhood, adolescence or adulthood. Researchers have found bipolar disorder in every age group, including pre-school children as young as age five. These children may exhibit hyperactivity, explosive rages and tantrums lasting for hours, excessive daydreaming, compulsive and obsessive behavior, and even thoughts of violence or suicide.

 Researchers seeking the genetic origins of bipolar disorder have also found that this complex illness may be inherited, as they have uncovered a handful of genes that might increase the risk of having the disorder. Recent statistics show that when one parent has bipolar disorder, the risk of his or her child having the illness is 15 to 30 percent. When both parents have bipolar disorder, the inherited risk increases to 50 to 75 percent.  Previous generations with questionable symptoms were less likely to have been diagnosed or were possibly misdiagnosed. A generation ago, those individuals who never received the correct treatment and medication may have been described as eccentric.
It’s important for parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder, considering that it is often misdiagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or ADHD with depression, depression alone, borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder or substance abuse.

To learn more about bipolar disorder, watch Medical Update this Saturday, December 19 with guest experts, Dr. Vivian Kafantaris, director or research in the division of child and adolescent psychiatry at The Zucker Hillside Hospital, and Dr. Raymond Behr, a psychiatrist who specializes in evaluating and treating children with serious mental illnesses.  Medical Update airs at 11 a.m. on WLNY-TV, which can be seen on Channel 10 on Long Island Cablevision and Verizon FiOS TV, and on Channel 55 on Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and DishTV.

Media Contact: Elaine Wohl

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