Biological Risk Factors in Pediatric Bipolar Disorder

Mani N. Pavuluri, David B. Henry, Sruti S. Nadimpalli, Megan Marlow O'Connor, John A. Sweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: The current study attempted to determine whether neurodevelopmental and acquired brain abnormalities are more common in pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD). Methods: The study sample consisted of 98 subjects with a mean age of 11.5 ± 3.3 years comprising three demographically matched groups: healthy controls (HC, n = 28), subjects with bipolar disorder - Type I (PBD, n = 37), and bipolar disorder - Type I combined with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (PBD+ADHD, n = 33). Family history of PBD was determined using the Family History Screen. Additional measures were administered to assess the history on perinatal risk, development milestones, serious physical illnesses, and head injury. Results: Logistic regression showed that that family history and perinatal risk factors predicted the diagnosis of PBD. PBD diagnosis was 15 times higher among those with a family history of BD. Second, for every additional perinatal risk factor such as prenatal exposure to drugs or birth complications, the risk of having a PBD diagnosis increased more than six-fold. Conclusions: Having a positive familial history of BD in a first degree relative and perinatal insults may elevate the risk for developing PBD. Presence of these risk factors, especially in the context of clinical signs of affect dysregulation, should alert clinicians to screen for PBD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)936-941
Number of pages6
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2006


  • Biology
  • adolescent
  • bipolar
  • child
  • familial
  • perinatal
  • risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


Dive into the research topics of 'Biological Risk Factors in Pediatric Bipolar Disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this