Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mental illness 'link to parents'

Children of bipolar parents have a 13-fold increased chance of suffering the same problem or other psychiatric disorders themselves, a study has shown.

A team of psychiatrists assessed two groups of children aged six to 18 for signs of bipolar disorder - formally known as manic depression - or other problems such as mood or anxiety disorders.

One group of 388 children had mothers or fathers with bipolar disorder. The other group of 251 had parents with no mental health problems.

A total of 10.6% of children with bipolar parents were positively tested for bipolar disorder or mood and anxiety disorders. In comparison, just 0.8% of children of mentally healthy parents had psychiatric conditions.


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