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Risperidone treatment for ADHD in children and adolescents with bipolar disorder

Authors Biederman J, Hammerness P, Doyle R, Joshi G, Aleardi M, Mick E

Published 8 February 2008 Volume 2008:4(1) Pages 203—207


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Joseph Biederman, Paul Hammerness, Robert Doyle, Gagan Joshi, Megan Aleardi, Eric Mick

Pediatric Psychopharmacology Research Department, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Objective: Children and adolescents with bipolar disorder are also at high risk of having comorbid attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The objective of this study was to estimate improvement in ADHD symptoms in children with bipolar disorder.

Methods: This was an open-label, study of risperidone monotherapy for the treatment of pediatric bipolar disorder. Thirty-one children and adolescents 4–15 years of age (7.2 ± 2.8 years) of both sexes (71%, N = 22 male) with pediatric bipolar disorder (YMRS score = 32.9 ± 8.8) and ADHD (ADHD-RS score = 37.9 ± 8.9) were included in these analyses.

Results: Improvement in ADHD symptoms was contingent on improvement in manic symptoms. Although both hyperactive/impulsive (−7.5 ± 5.5.6, p < 0.05) and inattentive (−6.8 ± 5.0, p < 0.05) ADHD symptoms were significantly improved with risperidone, improvement was modest, and only 29% of subjects (N = 6) showed a 30% reduction in ADHD rating scale scores and had a CGI-I ≤ 2.

Conclusions: These results suggest that that treatment with risperidone is associated with tangible but generally modest improvement of symptoms of ADHD in children with bipolar disorder.

Keywords: ADHD, bipolar disorder, children, risperidone

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