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Kids with ADHD and BD Less Responsive to Mania Drugs

Treatment of acute mania in young patients with ADHD is less effective than for bipolar patients without ADHD.

Children with ADHD and bipolar disorder (BD) who receive treatment for acute mania do not respond as well to drugs as do children who have BD alone, according to a study funded by the French Ministry of Health.

The study involved a statistical analysis of data from selected trials ranging from 1998 to 2004, and included 273 adolescents with BD, divided into two groups: those with, and those without, ADHD.

Highly effective treatments for bipolar disorders do exist, but become less effective in children with comorbid ADHD. Because these children are less responsive to such treatments, parents should strongly consider supplementary treatment, such as behavioral therapy, in treating the acute mania.

The results of the metaanalysis highlight the need for professionals and parents to more carefully distinguish and address symptoms and treatment of young children who have ADHD concurrent with acute mania. Currently, studies on treating children with bipolar disorder remain scarce.

More details can be found in the May 2007 issue of Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

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Source: Kids with ADHD and BD Less Responsive to Mania Drugs