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Psychiatric comorbidity in pediatric patients with demyelinating disorders.

Journal of Child Neurology 2010;25: 192-202

Little is known about psychiatric aspects of pediatric demyelinating conditions. A total of 23 youths (6-17 years) with demyelinating conditions underwent semistructured psychiatric interviews using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children—Present and Lifetime Version. Adolescents and parents completed the Child Symptom Inventory-4 and the Youth’s Inventory-4. Fears and conceptions of their neurological problems were elicited. In all, 48% (n = 11) met criteria for current psychiatric diagnoses, including 27% (n = 3) with depressive disorders and 64% (n = 7) with anxiety disorders. Fears and conceptions of the illness were severe and diverse. Depressive and anxiety disorders are common in pediatric demyelinating disease. Clinicians should therefore screen for psychiatric comorbidity symptoms as part of the routine evaluation of such patients.

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