Adult psychiatric disorders are associated with both childhood traumatic experiences (CTEs) and neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). CTEs and NDDs frequently co-occur in childhood, but their combined risk effect on the emergence of juvenile mania symptoms has not yet been examined.
In a population-representative Swedish twin study, CTEs and NDDs were assessed in 3,348 nine-year old twins born between 1998 and 2001, and treated as dichotomous predictors (any CTEs, any NDDs). Follow-up data were gathered at age 15 through parental reports of mania symptoms, yielding a symptom count score.
Both CTEs and NDDs at age 9 contributed uniquely to an increase in mania symptoms at age 15. Children with both risk factors had 1.6 times the rate of mania symptoms as children with CTEs-only (Incidence rate ratio [IRR] 1.63, 95% CI 1.37-1.93), and 1.3 times the rate of mania symptoms as children with NDDs-only (IRR 1.26, 95% CI 1.06-1.50). There was no evidence for an interactive effect of CTEs and NDDs. NDDs showed a trend towards having a larger effect on mania symptoms than CTEs (NDDs-only vs. CTEs-only: IRR 1.29, 95% CI 0.99-1.68).
Although it is a strength of the study that the data on exposures and outcome were collected prospectively, parental recall of CTEs was required and CTEs may be under-reported.
NDDs are at least as important as CTEs in the development of mania symptoms, and their risk is additive. Those with a history of both CTEs and NDDs should be monitored closely for the development of more severe psychiatric presentations.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.