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Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents)

Bipolar Disorder Inheritance

10/24/2005

Question:

My girlfriend`s mother has bad type I bipolar disorder. My girlfriend however doesn`t have it bad. How likely (statistically) is this to be passed down to our children (if we have any)?

Answer:

Hello and thank you for an excellent question. <>Regarding skipping a generation, although I'm not aware of any published research, clinically I have seen children with BP whose parents don't have BP but their grandparents do.

Quoting from Dr. Mary Fristad's excellent book about childhood bipolar disorder, "Raising a Moody Child":

"If one parent has a mood disorder (bipolar or depression), the couples' children have a 27% chance of developing a mood disorder. That risk increases to 74% if both parents have a mood disorder."

I hope that answers your question.

Best wishes!

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Response by:

Nicholas   Lofthouse, PhD Nicholas Lofthouse, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University