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Cause of bipolar disorder


The cause of bipolar disorder is unclear but hereditary, biological. and psychological factors may playa part. For example, the incidence of bipolar disorder among relatives of affected patients is higher than in the general population, and highest among maternal relatives.

Scientists are learning about the possible causes of bipolar disorder through several kinds of studies. Most scientists now agree that there is no single cause for bipolar disorder-rather, many factors act together to produce the illness. Some of the causes of bipolar disorder are as follows:

  • Biological cause of bipolar disorder

In considering the biological explanations, the first issue is inheritability. This question has been researched via multiple family, adoption and twin studies. In families of persons with bipolar disorder, first-degree relatives (parents, children, siblings) are more likely to have a mood disorder than the relatives of those who do not have bipolar disorder.

Studies of identical twins, who share all the same genes, indicate that both genes and other factors play a role in bipolar disorder. If bipolar disorder were caused entirely by genes, then the identical twin of someone with the illness would always develop the illness, and research has shown that this is not the case. But if one twin has bipolar disorder, the other twin is more likely to develop the illness than is another sibling.

  • Psychological cause of bipolar disorder

The primary psychological culprit implicated in the manifestation of bipolar disorder is stressful life events. These can range from a death in the family to the loss of a job, from the birth of a child to a move. It can be pretty much anything, but it cannot be precisely defined, since one person's stress may be another person's piece of cake. With that in mind, research has found that stressful life events can lead to the onset of symptoms in bipolar disorder.

Brain-imaging studies are helping scientists learn what goes wrong in the brain to produce bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. New brain-imaging techniques allow researchers to take pictures of the living brain at work, to examine its structure and activity, without the need for surgery or other invasive procedures. These techniques include

  • magnetic resonance imaging,
  • positron emission tomography, and
  • functional magnetic resonance imaging.

There is evidence from imaging studies that the brains of people with bipolar disorder may differ from the brains of healthy individuals. As the differences are more clearly identified and defined through research, scientists will gain a better understanding of the underlying causes of the illness, and eventually may be able to predict which types of treatment will work most effectively.

BottomLine regarding the causes of bipolar disorder:

The closer the familial relationship, the greater the susceptibility. A child with one affected parent has a 25% chance of developing bipolar disorder; a child with two affected parents, a 50% chance. The incidence of this illness in siblings is 20% to 25%; in identical twins, the incidence is 66% to 96%. Recent studies have shown that postpartum women are also at particular risk for bipolar disorder through postpartum psychosis.

Although certain biochemical changes accompany mood swings, it isn't clear whether these changes cause the mood swings or result from them. In both mania and depression,intracellular sodium concentration increases during illness and returns to normal with recovery.

Patients with mood disorders have a defect in the way the brain handles certain neurotransmitters - chemical messengers that shuttle nerve impulses between neurons. Low levels of the chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine. for example, have been linked to depression, whereas excessively high levels of these chemicals are associated with mania. Changes in the concentration of acetylcholine and serotonin may also playa role. Although neurobiologists have yet to prove that these chemical shifts cause bipolar disorder, it's widely assumed that most antidepressant medications work by modifying these neurotransmitter systems. In addition, new data suggest that changes in the circadian rhythms that control hormone secretion, body temperature, and appetite may contribute to the development of bipolar disorder.

Emotional or physical trauma, such as bereavement, disruption of an important relationship, or a serious acddental injury, may precede the onset of bipolar disorder. However, bipolar disorder commonly appears without identifiable predisposing factors. Manic episodes may follow a stressful event, but they're also associated with antidepressant therapy and childbirth. Chronic physical illness, psychoactive drug dependence, psychosocial stressors, and childbirth may predpitate major depressive episodes. Other familial influences - especially the early loss of a parent, parental depression, incest, or abuse - may predispose a person to depressive illness.

Lets us look at some of the mechanisms of the body and mind and try to figure out- how they affect the depressive disorders.

Bipolar Disorder - Bipolar Disorder is the form of depressive illness in which the sufferer has periods of being on a high, as well as periods of depression.

Treatment of Bipolar Disorder - Effective treatment is available for bipolar disorder.

What is the cause of Bipolar Disorder? Learn about various causes of bipolar disorder such as family tree, your genes, loss of job, etc.

The less severe form of high in bipolar disorder is hypomania.

What are the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder? There are various symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Can Adolescent have bipolar disorder? Bipolar disorder can occur in adolescents and has been investigated by federally funded teams in children as young as age 6.

Bipolar Disorder Fact

Can Children Have Bipolar Disorder? Children experience faster mood swings than adults, often cycling many times within a day.

Bipolar disorder - a case study Millions of Americans diagnosed with mental illness lead healthy lives because of information discovered through clinical studies.

History of bipolar disorder - Bipolar disorder has left its mark on history.

Importance of Bipolar disorder diagnosis Diagnosis is important, because it guides treatment decisions.

What is the need of diagnosis in childhood? The importance of proper diagnosis cannot be overstated.

What are the types of affective bipolar disorder? Learn about various types of bipolar disorder.

How can u help ur child and what is the role of parents? Your child can reduce the minor mood swings and stresses that sometimes lead to more severe episodes by adhering to the following tips.

I feel that you have given me some important information on bipolar disorder, and I really would like to know more, because my son shows alot of these syptoms, but he will not let me take him to a doctor to get checked he seem to be in denial.
Jeanette (3/07/2006)

Sometimes crying or laughing
are the only options left,
and laughing feels better right now.

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