A new study finds that 75% of the cases of paediatric bipolar disorder are diagnosed late – up to 18 months – due to the symptoms manifesting themselves in a different manner depending on whether the patient is a child or adult. Moreover, 25% of sufferers have a delay in their medical diagnoses of up to three years and four months, according to a study by the Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology at the University Hospital of Navarra, in collaboration with the Paediatric Psychopharmacology Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard University (Boston, United States).
As Dr. Inmaculada Escamilla Canales, specialist at the Madrid-based Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit of the University Hospital of Navarra explained, the research was based on an article previously published by her department in 2005 in which the perspectives of bipolar disorder amongst children outside the USA were reviewed. A very low incidence was observed in Europe compared to the North American samples, especially amongst certain countries. Also, in Great Britain, a study undertaken with a sufficiently representative sample concluded that the rate for this illness was non-existent.
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