Public Release: 

David A. Axelson, M.D., receives AACAP Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation Award for research in depression or suicide


Washington D.C., October 26, 2012 - The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is pleased to announce David A. Axelson, M.D, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, and Director, Child and Adolescent Bipolar Services, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, as the recipient of the Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation Award for Research in Depression or Suicide for his paper, "Course of Subthreshold Bipolar Disorder in Youth: Diagnostic Progression From Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified," published in the October 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and online at

AACAP's Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation Award for Research in Depression or Suicide is supported by the Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation. The foundation awards grants to major medical institutions for post-doctoral fellowships in child and adolescent ADHD and child and adolescent depression. It also funds medical student programs in child and adolescent psychiatry at select medical institutions.

The study, which aimed to determine the frequency of diagnostic conversion from bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (BP-NOS) to bipolar I disorder (BP-I) or bipolar II disorder (BP-II), followed 140 children and adolescents from the Course and Outcome of Bipolar Youth (COBY) study who met diagnostic criteria for BP-NOS at intake and participated in at least one follow-up evaluation. During the average 5-year follow-up period, 63 participants (45%) converted from BP-NOS to either BP-I or BP-II. Factors associated with conversion included white race, lifetime history of psychiatric hospitalization, severity of manic symptoms at intake, and a negative lifetime history of psychotic symptoms. Of those that converted, 58% had a history of family mania or hypomania, which was found to be the strongest predictor of conversion. The clinical implications of this study are highlighted in an accompanying editorial by Deputy Editor Ellen Leibenluft, M.D., who explains that "Axelson et al. indicate how our current, largely categorical mode of diagnostic thinking will eventually be merged with a more dimensional perspective."2

Dr. Axelson presented "Course of Subthreshold Bipolar Disorder in Youth: Diagnostic Progression From Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified" at AACAP's 59th Annual Meeting, October 25, 2012, in San Francisco.



1. Axelson DA, Birmaher B, Strober MA, et al. Course of Subthreshold Bipolar Disorder in Youth: Diagnostic Progression From Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry. 2011;50:1001-1016.

2. Leibenluft E. DSM-10: Coming Soon to a Psychiatric Practice Near You. J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry. 2011:50:972-974.

Notes for editors

Full text of the article is available to credentialed journalists upon request; contact Mary Billingsley at +1 202 966 7300 x105 or Journalists wishing to interview the authors may contact Dr. Axelson at

All articles published in JAACAP are embargoed until 3PM ET of the day they are published as corrected proofs online. Articles cannot be publicized as accepted abstracts. Contents of the publication should not be released to or by the media or government agencies before this date.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)

Representing over 8,000 child and adolescent psychiatrists nationwide, AACAP is the leading national professional medical association dedicated to treating and improving the quality of life for children, adolescents, and families affected by mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders.


Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry is the flagship journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and is the leading journal focusing exclusively on today's psychiatric research and treatment of the child and adolescent. Published twelve times per year, each issue is committed to its mission of advancing the science of pediatric mental health and promoting the care of youth and their families.

JAACAP's goal is to advance the science of child and adolescent psychiatry by publishing original research and papers of theoretical, scientific, and clinical relevance to the field. JAACAP welcomes unpublished manuscripts whose primary focus is on the mental health of children, adolescents, and families. Submissions may come from diverse viewpoints including but not limited to: genetic, epidemiological, neurobiological, and psychopathological research; cognitive, behavioral, psychodynamic, and other psychotherapeutic investigations; parent-child, interpersonal, and family research; and, clinical and empirical research in inpatient, outpatient, consultation-liaison, and school-based settings. JAACAP also seeks to promote the well-being of children and families by publishing scholarly papers on such subjects as health policy, legislation, advocacy, culture and society, and service provision as they pertain to the mental health of children and families.


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Media contact

Mary Billingsley
JAACAP Editorial Office
+1 202 966 7300 x105

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