Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder with bipolar disorder: A familial subtype?

S. V. Faraone, J. Biederman, D. Mennin, J. Wozniak, T. Spencer, B. Geller, J. S. Werry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

291 Scopus citations


Objective: To clarify the nosological status of children with attention- deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who also satisfy diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder (BPD). Method: Blind raters and structured psychiatric interviews were used to examine 140 children with ADHD, a sample of 120 non- ADHD comparisons, and their 822 first-degree relatives. Data analyses tested specific hypotheses about the familial relationship between ADHD and BPD. Results: After stratifying the ADHD sample into those with and without BPD, the authors found that (1) relatives of both ADHD sub-groups were at significantly greater risk for ADHD than relatives of non-ADHD controls; (2) the two subgroups did not differ significantly from one another in their relatives risk for ADHD; (3) a fivefold elevated risk for BPD was observed among relatives when the proband child had BPD but not when the proband had ADHD alone; (4) an elevated risk for major depression with severe impairment was found for relatives of ADHD+BPD probands; (5) both ADHD and BPD occurred in the same relatives more often than expected by chance alone; and (6) there was a trend for random mating between ADHD parents and those with mania. Conclusions: The data suggest that comorbid ADHD with BPD is familially distinct from other forms of ADHD and may be related to what others have termed childhood-onset BPD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1378-1390
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Comorbidity
  • Genetics
  • Nosology


Dive into the research topics of 'Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder with bipolar disorder: A familial subtype?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this