What are antecedents of bipolar disorder?

Antecedents, including cognitive anomalies, are usually subtle deviations in development that may become evident during childhood or adolescence. The presence of these deviations may foreshadow the later development of bipolar disorder, however most children who exhibit deviations do not develop the disorder. Studies exploring antecedents are ideally based on representative, population-based samples that follow the group from birth through childhood and adolescence to adulthood.

What is the evidence from long-term studies on cognitive anomalies as antecedents of bipolar disorder?

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests a medium-sized effect of low IQ in childhood, particularly measured on attention and working memory scales, in people who developed bipolar disorder or mania in adulthood. However, this finding is not consistent across studies, and there is also evidence of a large association between high childhood IQ and mania in adulthood.

October 2021

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Last updated at: 3:15 pm, 29th March 2022
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