A new U.S. study suggests bipolar disorder in teens could be tied to sleep impairments.
According to research done by Jessica Lunsford-Avery, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and her colleagues, sleep impairment was significantly connected to mania and depression symptoms and psychological impairment in younger people with bipolar disorder.
"Psychosocial treatments focusing on sleep stabilization may prove effective in improving the prognosis of adolescent bipolar spectrum disorder-related sleep irregularities," the team wrote in the journal Psychiatry Research.
Fifty-three youths with bipolar disorder took part in the study, with a mean age of 14.6 years at baseline. Participants were assessed at the start and then again at approximately 84 weeks using the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and schizophrenia for School-Age Children Mania Rating Scale (MRS) and Depression Rating Scale (DRS). Assessments also took place at regular intervals using the Adolescent Sleep Habits Questionnaire (ASHQ) and the Adolescent Longitudinal Interval Follow-up Evaluation (A-LIFE) Psychosocial Scales.
The mean MRS score at baseline was 28.19, indicating clinically significant mania symptoms. The mean DRS score was 22.46, which indicates moderate depression levels. The mean ASHQ score was 43.76, signifying moderate levels of sleep impairment.
These scores showed that as sleep disturbances increased, so did the severity of mania. The researchers also found that sleep impairment scores could predict the depressive follow-up period: The higher the levels of sleep impairment, the more severe the depressive symptoms. Furthermore, the higher levels of sleep impairment were also linked to more psychosocial impairment.
"The present study provides evidence for a robust link between sleep problems and mood symptoms and functioning in adolescents with bipolar spectrum disorder followed for up to 2 years," Lunsford-Avery and her team concluded. "Given that an association between sleep disturbance, mood, and daytime functioning has been shown in most adolescents, including those recruited from community high school samples, the development and empirical evaluation of therapies targeting sleep may benefit not only adolescents with BSD, but also the larger pediatric population."
Source: News Medical