Published on September 19, 2017
slide 1: www.sovhealth.com Thinning of Gray Matter Prominent Among Bipolar Cases Says Study Bipolar disorder is a serious and debilitating psychiatric condition marked by extreme mood swings and vacillating emotions with 1 to 3 percent of the adult population being affected by it worldwide. Also known as manic-depressive illness or manic depression individuals with bipolar disorder experience erratic mood swings without a warning. Anybody can develop bipolar disorder irrespective of age gender and other socioeconomic factors. It usually develops during a person’s adolescence phase or in his or her early adulthood. However children and older adults can also develop bipolar disorder. Unfortunately it is a lifelong bane to be diagnosed with this disorder due to the constant fluctuation of emotions between manic and depressive episodes. Due to the chronicity throughout the life span bipolar disorder accounts for more disability-adjusted life years DALYS than the combined force of all forms of cancer or other neurologic conditions like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. According to Statistic Brain about 2.65 percent of the American adults are living with the problem of bipolar disorder. Although numerous research and studies have been carried out to comprehend the condition in the past few decades its underlying mechanisms and repercussions have not been understood well due to the inconsistency in the results of the various neuroimaging-based studies. Cortical abnormalities in bipolar patients A recent study published in Molecular Psychiatry found that there are major differences in the brain regions that control emotions among individuals with bipolar disorder. Due to the inconsistency in the findings of several studies there have not been enough evidence to suggest the key structural differences in the brains of people grappling with bipolar disorder. However this study was able to determine the proof-based findings on the basis of brain scans. The study was a component of an international consortium called Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics Through Meta Analysis ENIGMA led by the USC Stevens Neuroimaging and slide 2: www.sovhealth.com Informatics Institute at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. This is the largest ever magnetic resonance imaging MRI study on the patients with bipolar disorder that explains the key differences in the brains of the people coping with bipolar disorder. The study entailed MRI scans of 6503 participants including 2447 adults with bipolar disorder and 4056 healthy participants. The researchers assessed the effects of prescription medications the age of disease onset history of psychosis mood state age and sex differences in the cortical regions of the brain. The results of the study depicted that thinning of cortical gray matter in the brains was consistent among individuals with bipolar disorder. This difference was unusually evident in the frontal and temporal regions which are responsible for regulating inhibition and emotions. In addition individuals with bipolar disorder and a history of psychosis displayed the highest deficits in the brain’s gray matter. However there were differences in brain signatures among individuals who were on lithium antipsychotics and antiepileptic treatments. Since individuals who took lithium were found to have the least thinning of gray matter it suggests that this medication can cause a protective effect on the brain. The discovery that individuals with bipolar disorder tend to have a reduction in gray matter in frontal brain regions that regulate self-control and emotion could have a negative impact in the future especially in terms of developing interventions. The findings not only provide valuable clues in pinpointing the brain regions where the therapeutic effects of drugs take place but also emphasize the importance of early detection and prevention of the condition. “This new map of the bipolar brain gives us a road map of where to look for treatment effects. By bringing together psychiatrists worldwide we now have a new source of power to discover treatments that improve patients’ lives” said Paul Thompson Director of the ENIGMA Consortium and an associate director of the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute. Recovery road map Bipolar disorder is a debilitating mental disorder that causes serious complications for the diagnosed individuals and their families. By living with this condition a person can encounter extreme mood swings accompanied by changes in his or her sleep energy level and ability to think clearly. Fortunately individuals with bipolar disorder can benefit from treatment and lead successful lives. If a loved one is suffering from bipolar disorder or any other mental illness you can get in touch with Sovereign Health. Our mental health treatment centers provide evidence-based treatment for bipolar disorder to ensure the holistic recovery of our patients. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-698-4295 to know more about the available treatment options near you.