BDRN: Bipolar and Genetics

BDRN: Bipolar and Genetics

We just received the latest newsletter from BDRN (Bipolar Disorder Research Network) which reports findings from some of the recent research it undertook on Bipolar and Genetics. Some of you may have been involved with the research in the UK where a member of the Cardiff University or University of Birmingham Research Team visited you in your home to interview you. Further to this they conducted followup questionnaires through the post. Their findings have today been reported: Our research group has recently been involved in a large study investigating genetic factors that may be involved in c... »

Impact of Bipolar and Stress

Impact of Bipolar and Stress

Increased stress is an unpleasant consequence of modern living with or without bipolar. Stress is our response to unfavorable challenges that upset our rhythm. Everyone faces demands and obstacles during life that pose a threat to mental harmony. Often this results from unrealistic self imposed expectations or the expectations of others on our behalf. Whether we cant actually rise to the challenge, or our perception is that we can’t makes little difference, either way we will encounter a degree of stress relative to the extent of the shortfall. Stress sets off a chain of chemical changes... »

Bipolar and obesity connection

Bipolar and obesity connection

Many patients present with both bipolar and obesity. Obesity is a common comorbid (occurs together) condition which complicates the assessment and management of bipolar. Bipolar is a disorder of behavioral extremes and during manic episodes excesses in many areas including calorie intake is not uncommon. A significant contributory factor to the tendency to obesity in bipolar individuals is the weight gain directly attributable to the medication involved in the long term management of the disorder. This undesirable side effect may well self perpetuate the problem. The patient is less inclined t... »

Bipolar Disorder and Excessive Spending

Bipolar Disorder and Excessive Spending

Symptomatic of a manic or hypomanic episode with bipolar is excessive spending, compulsive shopping and impulsive purchases. Well how different is that from “normal” individuals. Probably the majority of people have at some stage indulged in these activities. How many of us possess collections of “must have” cookery books, diet books etc bought during periods of intense interest and rarely used thereafter. What is considered overindulgent by some might seem perfectly normal to others. Not all reckless spenders are bipolar but for anyone with bipolar disease it can becom... »

Bipolar Brain Imaging

Bipolar Brain Imaging

Bipolar brain imaging shows how the bipolar brain is different from the normal. This picture below shows a significant reduction in grey matter volume.  It comes from a study of patients with bipolar disorder. It shows grey matter shrinking prefrontal and temporal regions of the brain. British researchers confirmed in 2007: They found people with bipolar disorder suffer from an accelerated shrinking of their brain. Imaging studies carried out four years apart showed loss of brain tissue in the areas controlling memory, face recognition and co-ordination.  Don’t panic over your bipolar br... »