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Biopolar Disorder - Essay Example

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Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric situation defined as recurrent episodes of significant disturbance in mood. This disorder is characterized by periods of excitability (mania) alternating with periods of depression (Upadhyaya, 2006; Wikiepedia 2007). These changes in the mood at times are very abrupt and unexpected…
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Biopolar Disorder
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Download file to see previous pages Mania and depression both may involve states of malnutrition secondary to the psychiatrically diminished awareness of or ability to maintain one's health and well-being. Thus, a metabolic panel along with, in extreme cases, levels of thiamine, albumin, and prealbumin may help determine the extent of self-neglect and compromised nutritional state.
Neuroimaging modalities are currently not helpful in diagnosing bipolar disorder. Rather, the clinical presentation of symptom clusters, as defined in the DSM-IV TR, plus family and genetic histories guide the mental health clinician in diagnosing psychiatric conditions.
Neuroimaging studies of child and adolescent patients with bipolar disorder are few. MRI studies of children and adolescents with bipolar I disorder have shown enlarged ventricles and an increased number of hyperintensities compared with healthy control subjects. The pathologic and clinical significance of these findings is unknown.
In MRI studies, in a study by Darsi (1999) found that the area of the thalamus was substantially decreased in youths with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia compared with healthy control subjects. Studies in adults revealed similar findings. ...
studies of children and adolescents with bipolar I disorder have shown enlarged ventricles and an increased number of hyperintensities compared with healthy control subjects. The pathologic and clinical significance of these findings is unknown.
In MRI studies, in a study by Darsi (1999) found that the area of the thalamus was substantially decreased in youths with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia compared with healthy control subjects. Studies in adults revealed similar findings. The diagnosis of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia cannot be made on the basis of this volume difference on MRI. Nonetheless, reduced thalamic volume is consistent with clinical symptoms of poor attention, difficulty in filtering simultaneous stimuli, and dysregulation of mood, all of which symptoms found in patients with both of these major mental illnesses. Whether a structural or functional deficit in the thalamus may be causal or contributory to the pathophysiology of these mental disorders remains unknown.
Other Tests:
A baseline ECG may be needed before a psychotropic medication is started because some are known to alter QT intervals or other features of the cardiac rhythm.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder causes dramatic mood swings from overly high and/or irritable to sad and hopeless, and then back again, often with periods of normal mood in between. Severe changes in energy and behavior go along with these changes in mood. The periods of highs and lows are called episodes of mania and depression. (Upadhyaya, 2006; Wikiepedia, 2007; NIMH, 2007).
Symptoms of mania (or a manic episode) include (NIMH, 2007; Upadhyaya, 2006;, Wikiepedia, 2007):
Increased energy, activity, and restlessness
Excessively high, overly good, euphoric mood
Extreme irritability
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