A U.S. study found that only 43% of patients previously diagnosed as bipolar were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV. The lead author said overdiagnosis could lead to the unnecessary use of medications and a risk of adverse side effects.
SAN DIEGO - Dr. John Kelsoe has spent his career trying to identify the biological roots of bipolar disorder. In December, he announced he had discovered several gene mutations closely tied to the disease, also known as manic depression.
Then Kelsoe, a prominent psychiatric geneticist at the University of California, San Diego, did something provocative for the buttoned-down world of academic medical research: He began selling bipolar genetic tests straight to the public over the Internet last month for $399.
The attention-deficit generation has been supplanted by the bipolar generation, we learn in Tuesday night's "Frontline" on PBS. And overmedication of children is not the only concern these days. Parents may now be turning their youngsters into guinea pigs. The report, "The Medicated Child," revisits territory "Frontline" first examined in 2001, raising some familiar warning flags and some new ones. But it's not a knee-jerk treatment. As the program points out, there are pros as well as cons to the increased use of prescription drugs on children.
The number of American children and adolescents treated for bipolar disorder increased 40-fold from 1994 to 2003, researchers report today in the most comprehensive study of the controversial diagnosis.
Experts say the number has almost certainly risen further since 2003.