Those living with bipolar disorder and their loved ones understand that it is a difficult condition to overcome. Luckily, we are fortunate enough to be living in the age of technological advancement and are constantly making progress with previously untreatable diseases and conditions. A recent MRI study has created a roadmap to help us better understand bipolar brains.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. There are four basic types of bipolar disorder:
Bipolar I Disorder
Bipolar II Disorder
Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders
All four types involve distinct changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. These moods range from manic episodes (feelings of extreme happiness, “on top of the world”) to depressive episodes (periods of sorrow and hopelessness).
Bipolar Disorder & MRI
A new landmark study has identified specific brain abnormalities in gray matter volumes of people with bipolar disorder and created the first “roadmap” of key brain regions underlying the neurobiology of bipolar disorder. This new roadmap revealed that adults with bipolar disorder tend to have widespread bilateral patterns of reduced cortical thickness in frontal, temporal, and parietal regions. The ENIGMA researchers believe that mapping the brain regions associated with bipolar disorder is of great value for early detection and prevention.
There is still a lot more progress that needs to be made when treating bipolar disorder, but there is currently a worldwide effort working towards a solution. We live in a time where we make leaps and bounds in technology within a year’s time. If you believe you or a loved one has bipolar disorder seek psychiatric assistance. There is still treatment offered to help improve quality of life.