Outlook Bipolar II disorder is a form of the psychiatric disorder known as bipolar disorder. All forms of bipolar disorder cause unusual mood swings and shifts in energy and activity levels. Bipolar II disorder is a form of this disorder characterized by cycles of depressive episodes followed by hypomanic periods.
If there are any in this series of five chapters you might wish to skip, this would probably be it. The others lead more directly to implications for treatment. I know, is that not obvious? True, we already knew that just from experience, as you surely know as well.
But what we can now see is at least a glimpse of the brain mechanisms by which this occurs: Moreover, these differences are present even when no symptoms are present. Link to Chapter 3: The central role of the biological clock Differences in size First the good news: Second, the take-home message for now: Although it has taken years to be certain, because not all studies have shown the same results, there is now fairly good agreement that the frontal cortex which is associated with decision-making and controlling impulsive behavior shrinks in size when bipolar disorder is allowed to progress.
This is basically the same result which has been seen in severe forms of depression which remain untreated, as shown in my essay on frontal atrophy in depression. Several studies have now shown that lithium appears to be capable of reversing this trend toward frontal atrophy the studies are referenced in the essay on treatment effects in depression.
This has been shown several times, including in children, McClure where the following results were obtained: As you can see, given the pictures that were shown in this study, everybody makes mistakes and interpreting them, but people with bipolar disorder make those mistakes more often.
When the faces shown exhibited more dramatic expressions, people with bipolar disorder made over twice as many mistakes as people without a mood or anxiety problem. All of the above findings were seen even in children who were not symptomatic at the time of the study.
In other words, this difficulty with facial expression recognition may be one of the more lasting, permanent parts of the illness, not a symptom. However, the error rate may be particularly evident during mania. AltshulerFleck Interestingly, these mistakes in facial recognition appear to be reduced by treatment, at least with one of the standard treatment for bipolar disorder, lamotrigine.
In this particular task, at least, they were not using the part of the brain known to inhibit impulsive action not as much as were the control subjects. Researchers are homing in on regions of the brain which act differently in people with bipolar disorder compared to those without the illness.
Evidence is growing quite strong that a region of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex is underactive in people with bipolar disorder even when they are having no symptoms at all.
However, to see this difference show up, the the brain image study must be done when participants are working on a task that requires making decisions quickly about something with an emotional overtone. In a recent study, a team from Australia Lagopoulos found the following result: The red region is the medial prefrontal cortex.
You see here the portion of it which is more active during the task in people without bipolar disorder, compared to those with the illness the task required a complex sorting of words, some of which had emotional implications.
She cannot rely on her brain to make choices between routine or flexible responses unless she really concentrates.
Increasingly, this somewhat subtle cognitive impairment is being recognized as one of the unfortunate consequences of bipolar disorder. Medications may make a difference, however, at least somewhat. In a study similar to the one shown above, Strakowski researchers compared patients who were not receiving medications with those who were.
As you can see, a region of the brain similar to that emphasized above, the medial frontal cortex, became more active with treatment.
In general the picture which seems to be developing here is that people with bipolar disorder are working harder with their emotional centers when doing basic thinking work, compared to those without the illness.
This may be some form of compensation for decreased activity in more frontal regions of the brain. This is a popular line of thought, lately.
In general, these authors emphasize the high degree of productivity and creativity associated with bipolar-like traits.
Unfortunately, I fear that for many people with bipolar disorder, this line of thought is not going to help much, and could be harmful — if people look at this supposed benefit of bipolar disorder and wonder why they never saw any kind of benefits like that in their own lives.
Robert Schumann To listen to some of his works, take this link to Wikipedia and scroll to the bottom of the page.HealthCentral combines medically vetted health information with personal stories about life with chronic health conditions to give you the tools and inspiration to make positive changes, no matter you.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes mood shifts and extreme alterations in energy and activity levels, and if the condition is left untreated, it can make day-to-day living. Bipolar disorder can cause severe mood swings and changes in activity levels. However, there are different types of bipolar disorder that can affect a person in .
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