Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Manic Depression Linked With Brain Tissue Loss

Date:
July 21, 2007
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
People with bipolar disorder suffer from accelerated brain tissue loss, which is associated with progressive decline in some areas of mental ability. This discovery has implications not only for the way we research the disease, but may also impact the way this condition is treated.

People with bipolar disorder -- or manic depression -- suffer from an accelerated shrinking of their brain, researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found.

The study shows for the first time that bipolar disorder -- a condition characterised by periods of depression and periods of mania -- is associated with a reduction in brain tissue and proves that the changes get progressively worse with each relapse.

This discovery has implications not only for the way we research the disease, but may also impact the way this condition is treated.

The findings, published in the Journal of Biological Psychiatry, show that the loss of grey matter tissue is concentrated in areas of the brain which control memory, face recognition and co-ordination -- namely the hippocampus, fusiform and cerebellum respectively.

Dr. Andrew McIntosh, senior lecturer in psychiatry and lead researcher, said: "For the first time, we have shown that as people with bipolar disorder get older, a small amount of tissue is lost in parts of the brain that are associated with memory and the coordination of thoughts and actions. The amount of brain tissue that's lost is greater in people with multiple episodes of illness and is associated with a decline in some areas of mental ability.

"Although we do no yet know the cause of this brain shrinkage, it may be that repeated episodes of illness harm the brain and lead to the decline. Another possibility is that the brain changes are caused by stress or genetic factors, which tend to lead both to more frequent illness episodes and to greater brain loss. Further research will be required."

Bipolar disorder, in its severe form, is a serious mental illness which affects around half a million people in the UK alone. When people have mania they are typically elated, overactive and need less sleep. They may also suffer from delusions or hallucinations, and are at significant risk of suicide. Once someone has an episode of bipolar disorder, the condition tends to be life long.

This work is supported by the Sackler Foundation, Health Foundation and by the UK Medical Research Council.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Edinburgh. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Manic Depression Linked With Brain Tissue Loss." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070720103036.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2007, July 21). Manic Depression Linked With Brain Tissue Loss. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070720103036.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Manic Depression Linked With Brain Tissue Loss." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070720103036.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study by British researchers suggests couples' sleeping positions might reflect their happiness. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins