February 2, 2017 • Volume 10, Issue 5 • Subscribe to Hope & Harmony Headlines
Many shades of mania
In hopes of finding better ways to treat bipolar disorder, neuroscientists keep trying to figure out what makes people susceptible to extreme moods.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging yields insights into how various regions of the brain activate and deactivate differently in people with and without bipolar—and during different mood states in individuals with bipolar.
One study done in Spain, published in February 2016, suggests that the parietal cortex fires up differently during mood shifts in either direction than during euthymic (non-symptomatic) states. An October 2016 study found changes in two brain networks tied to manic and depressive phases.
The sensorimotor network comes online during physical activity and interactions with our environment. The default mode network hums along when we’re not engaged with the outer world. During mania, there is unusually high activity in the sensorimotor network and unusually low activity in the default mode network. The opposite pattern happens during bipolar depression.
Still, science is far from connecting what’s going on in our brains to what’s going on in our moods—especially since no two people experience a mood phase like mania exactly the same way.
When Julianna S. gets manic, she can’t tolerate anything out of place. Her skin will crawl and she’ll scratch her neck until it’s raw. Keely P. starts to swear like a sailor—a symptom you won’t find in any list of bipolar criteria.
Mania can manifest in different ways—but you can minimize negative consequences. Read more in “Getting a Grip on Mania.” >>
Moving Past Your Past
When your present life feels limited by things that happened in your childhood, it’s time to find the tools and techniques to help you thrive. Read more >>
10 Ways to Help Your Child Deal With Bipolar Symptoms
It’s a stressful time for a family whose child or teen receives a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The more you know about how to help your son or daughter cope with symptoms of this brain disorder, the better. Here are ten strategies to help. >>
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