Neuroprogression in bipolar disorder

Bipolar Disorders, 05/31/2012

There is some evidence for developmental and progressive neurophysiological alterations in bipolar disorder, but the interpretation of correlations between neuroimaging findings and measures of illness exposure or age in cross–sectional studies must be performed with care.

Methods

  • The authors conducted a literature review using MEDLINE and the following search terms: bipolar disorder, risk, child, adolescent, bipolar offspring, MRI, fMRI, DTI, PET, SPECT, cross–sectional, longitudinal, progressive, and developmental.
  • Further relevant articles were identified by cross–referencing with identified manuscripts.

Results

  • There is some evidence for developmental and progressive neurophysiological alterations in bipolar disorder, but the interpretation of correlations between neuroimaging findings and measures of illness exposure or age in cross–sectional studies must be performed with care.
  • Prospective longitudinal studies placed in the context of normative developmental and atrophic changes in neural structures and pathways thought to be involved in bipolar disorder are needed to improve the understanding of the neurodevelopmental underpinnings and progressive changes associated with bipolar disorder.

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