Changes in the brain that are important indicators of bipolar disorder are not prominent until young adulthood and are reduced in persons taking mood-stabilizing medications, Yale School of Medicine researchers report this month in Biological Psychiatry.
The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging to measure a part of the brain that regulates emotions, the ventral prefrontal cortex, that lies above the eyes. The changes in persons with bipolar disorder were not prominent until young adulthood, suggesting that the illness progresses during the teenage years. Bipolar disorder is also known as manic-depressive illness.
"The brain changes were diminished in persons with bipolar disorder who were taking mood-stabilizing medications," said Hilary Blumberg, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and director of Yales Mood Disorders Research Program. "This brings hope that it may someday be possible to halt the progression of the disorder."
Jacqueline Weaver | EurekAlert!
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