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Irritability in Children With Mood Disorders Has Varying Sources

Irritability in Children With Mood Disorders Has Varying Sources

BETHESDA, Md., Feb. 1 -- The extreme irritability in children with bipolar disorder appears to spring from different wells of frustration than the irritability in children with severe mood dysregulation, NIH researchers reported.

In a study comparing children with bipolar disorder or severe mood dysregulation with unaffected controls, extreme irritability sparked by a task designed to induce frustration revealed distinctly different brain activity patterns, according to Brendan A. Rich, Ph.D., and colleagues here and at the University of Maryland.

"Our results indicate that there may be different psychophysiological mechanisms and behavioral correlates associated with frustration between children with narrow-phenotype bipolar disorder and those with severe mood dysregulation," the investigators wrote in the February issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

The findings, if borne out by further research, could lead to better differentiation and treatment of mood disorders in children, said the study's authors.

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