Individuals with bipolar disorder have an average of 30% more of a vital class of signal-sending brain cells, according to new data. This discovery strengthens the hypothesis that the disorder has inescapable genetic and biologic origins, and may clarify why it runs in families.
This finding is the first neurochemical difference to be discovered between asymptomatic bipolar and nonbipolar individuals. To put it simply, these patients brains are wired differently, in a way that we might expect to predispose them to bouts of mania and depression, noted Jon-Kar Zubieta, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and radiology at the University of Michigan Health System (U-Mich; Ann Arbor, MI).
Individuals with bipolar disorder have wild mood swings. The milder, type II kind causes depression alternating with frenzy; whereas the more debilitating type I disorder produces frenzied, even psychotic events and severe depression.
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