Kids of Older Dads Have Increased Risk of Being Bipolar

It's long been known that babies of older moms can have more health problems, but studies have now linked mental illness to advanced paternal age:

Researchers analyzed Swedish national registry data from more than 80,000 people, including 13,428 with bipolar disorder who were born between 1932 and 1991.

The risks started increasing around age 40 but were strongest among those 55 and older. Children with these dads were 37 percent more likely to develop bipolar disorder than those born to men in their 20s.

They also faced more than double the risk of developing bipolar disorder before age 20. Scientists call that early onset disease, and although they have long known that bipolar disorder tends to run in families, early onset disease has been thought to be most strongly linked with genetics. - Thanks Tiffany!

It stands to reason. You're working with older genetic material, and more things can go wrong.

Kids of old dads also have the added stress of wondering when dear ol' dad is going to pop his clogs. I would expect more emotional (and possibly mental) problems from that aspect alone.
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There's a new possible cause for bipolar published every week. None of them ever amount to anything. No lesion has ever been found for bipolar and no standard reliable lab test exists to identify the unknown cause.

The use of antidepressants (and the side effects of mania) has seen the unreliable "labelling" by quacks of people as BP sky-rocketed.
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There are no guarantees in life; a dad can get hit by a bus at 30 or can die in his sleep at 90.

Correlation does not necessarily equal causation, people!
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This isn't good for me. Bi polar disorder runs on both sides of my family, and now I hear that because my dad was older when I was born (48), I'm at an even greater risk. Joy. I'm making an appointment to the shrink now, thanks.
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EEM - Bi-polar is schizophrenia. Just a more accurate name for the unwashed masses.

As for seeing bi-polar symptoms earlier if the parents were older at conception, I'm gonna call BS on that. It all depends on brain chemistry, and when it changes during puberty. So unless dear old dad's genes are causing early puberty, there is no way to say that. I wonder if they are using date of DX or date of first symptoms.
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"There are no guarantees in life; a dad can get hit by a bus at 30 or can die in his sleep at 90."

No, but kids don't generally worry about their 30-year-old father getting hit by a bus. But if he's 90, I think there's more likely to be questions about how long he's going to last.

And I didn't mean to imply that this could CAUSE bi-polar disorder. All I meant was that the stress could certainly cause other emotional issues. Bi-polar disorder stems from something physical. Merely being worried about your old dad isn't going to cause it.
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Funny...almost everyone I know, myself included, who has bipolar has young parents...I was RAISED by older parents though (adopted) so I wonder if that's meaningful...Not that antecdotal evidence means anything...
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Hmm.. that gives me an idea for my dissertation.

And yes, bi-polar ISN'T schizophrenia.

(General) Bipolar symptoms: massive mood swings between deep depression and manic highs, (extremely manic highs can lead to delusions and hallucinations.)
Schizophrenia symptoms: (postive) hallucinations- auditory and visual, delusions. (Negative) Lack of appetite, apathy, lack of motivation.

Just wanted to clear that up. (Wiki it if you want to know more!)
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OK. thanks for the clarification. Was getting my info from my friend who is bi-polar, who described her teen years an being quite schizophrenic. I put them together because she and her dr did.
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