Pathophysiology Neurochemical

The pathophysiology of bipolar disorder remains incompletely understood. Imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography (PET) scans and functional MRI (fMRI) are being used to elucidate the cause. Research in the 1970s focused on neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine (NE), dopamine (DA), and serotonin. One hypothesis was that bipolar disorder is caused by an imbalance of cholinergic and cat-echolaminergic neuronal activity. Serotonin (5-HT) has been suggested to modulate catecholamine activity. Dysregulation of this relationship could cause a mood disturbance.6 An early theory was that elevation of NE and DA caused mania, and a reduction caused depression, but this theory is now considered overly simplistic. Other neuro-transmitters are involved and interact with multiple neurochemical and neuroanatomic mechanisms and pathways. The pathophysiology of bipolar disorder has also been hypothesized from the mechanisms of action of lithium and other mood stabilizers. Lithium, valproate, and carbamazepine all have similar effects on neuronal growth that are reversible by inositol, supporting the hypothesis that bipolar disorder is related to inos-itol disturbance. Evidence has shown that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) may also play a role in bipolar disorder. Serum BDNF is low in mania and improves with response to treatment.8

BiPolar Explained

BiPolar Explained

Bipolar is a condition that wreaks havoc on those that it affects. If you suffer from Bipolar, chances are that your family suffers right with you. No matter if you are that family member trying to learn to cope or you are the person that has been diagnosed, there is hope out there.

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