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The Bipolar Disorder

Updated on January 6, 2014


A bipolar disorder also referred as the Manic depression is a mental disorder which is known by psychiatrists to be a mood disorder. In most cases, patients with this disorder encounter moments of a frenzied mood that is referred as mania, which alternates with depression episodes. This disorder is quite serious and can result into risky behavior, damaged careers and or relationship and if untreated can lead to suicidal tendencies. Although it can affect all people, its happens to be more common in young children and teenagers who may be as young as five years. Although some analysts have argued that the disease is not very common, there are those who claim that the disease is consistently growing. Until recently, doctors have been unable to ascertain the real causes of this disorder.


Though bipolar disorder is categorized as a brain disorder, it does not affect all the brain parts, rather it affects some specific parts. A study conducted by the National University of Seoul, department of Psychiatry was purposed to find out the part of the brain which bipolar disorder affected. The FMRI technology was employed in assessing the brain anomalies with this disorder. The researchers found gray substances in the brain of patients that had bipolar I disorder. Patients with disorder 2 had deficits of this gray matter in the entromedial prefrontal parts of the brain, the cortex and at the top of the eyes orbits. The grey substances were also found in the brain’s anterior limbic cortices. The areas that are affected by this disorder, that is, the anterior limbic cortices and ventromedial prefrontal parts, subsequently affect particular functions of the brain. . The ventromedial prefrontal parts of the brain have an impact on inhibition, concentration, learning, concentration and behavior. On the other hand, the anterior limbic cortices have an impact on agitation, smell, memory and emotional control.

FMRI or functional Magnetic resonance imaging is a popular method of studying bipolar disorder. Neuroimaging technology is aneural system biomarker is used to distinguish depression in bipolar disorders and is able to identify patients who are at risk for psychiatrists to proceed with psychotherapy in curbing the progression of the disease. Functional Magnetic resonance imaging is also used to measure the activities taking place in the brain and monitoring the related changes in the flow of the blood. The technique is because the flow of cerebral blood and the activities of the neurons are related. In the case when particular brain area, the flow of blood to that region also becomes rapid. Although the fMRI process may be similar that used in MRI, the latter employs the aspect of magnetization in determining blood rich in oxygen and that poor in oxygen as the main basis for its measure.

In the case of extreme depression as result of such issues as bipolar disorder, epinephrine and orepinephrine transmitters are brushed out of the brain. High level of depression will also result into Dopamine neurotransmitter to function abnormally. Abnormal functioning of dopamine in turn affects emotions, voluntary movements, sleep, pleasure and the general mood of a person. In addition, abnormal functioning dopamine neurotransmitters are the lead cause of Parkinson’s condition, a disease which have been termed as very risky. Other diseases caused by abnormal functioning include schizophrenia and psychotic symptoms.


A bipolar disorder is risky if not treated early enough and can lead to a malfunctioning of the brain.


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    • Nyamweya profile image

      Silas Nyamweya 3 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Good Question but sorry for lateness, I was held up in my regular work

      The major difference between bipolar 1 and 2 is that an individual with bipolar 1 has episodes of manic, whereas the one with bipolar 2 has episodes of hypomanic.

      If you may not be understanding what mania or hypomania means, it is a matter of severity. Bipolar 1 is a more severe form of bipolar than bipolar 2 where in bipolar 2, a person could have a sustained but elevated mood and may experience some form of irritability. This mood is significantly different from the individual’s normal mood when not under depression. In mania, or bipolar 1, the mood is extremely different and with a combination of increased energy or activity that is not usual for the person.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      What is the difference between Bipolar I and Bipolar II?