What is the role of neurophysiologic factors in the etiology of bipolar affective disorder (manic-depressive illness)?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: Stephen Soreff, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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In addition to structural neuroimaging studies that look for volumetric changes in brain regions regardless of brain activity, functional neuroimaging studies are performed to find regions of the brain, or specific cortical networks, that are either hypoactive or hyperactive in a particular illness. For example a meta-analysis by Houenou et al found decreased activation and diminution of gray matter in a cortical-cognitive brain network, which has been associated with the regulation of emotions in patients with bipolar disorder. [52] An increased activation in ventral limbic brain regions that mediate the experience of emotions and generation of emotional responses was also discovered. This provides evidence for functional and anatomic alterations in bipolar disorder in brain networks associated with the experience and regulation of emotions. [52]

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