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September 1, 2005

MRI Brain Activation in Euthymic Bipolar Disorder

This study was titled "Abnormal fMRI Brain Activation in Euthymic Bipolar Disorder Patients During a Counting Stroop Interference Task," and was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The studies participants were 16 people with euthymic bipolar disorder and 16 mentally healthy individuals. They all had a fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) done upon them while they were doing a counting Stroop interference task.

Those with bipolar disorder had a more difficult time with the task that they were asked to perform. The areas of the brain that were activated were very different for those with bipolar disorder in comparison to the control group.

"Healthy subjects exhibited relatively increased activation in temporal cortical regions, middle frontal gyrus, putamen, and midline cerebellum. Bipolar subjects exhibited relatively greater activation in the medial occipital cortex. The groups demonstrated different associations between task performance and fMRI activation in these brain regions" (Strakowski et al., 2005).

There was no difference in the areas of activation for the patients with bipolar disorder who were receiving medication compared to those who were not. Although the level of activation was greater in the anterior cingulate and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex for those who were taking medication. The researchers suggested that the impaired performance in those with euthymic bipolar disorder may be due to the inability to activate the brain regions linked to performance on "an interference task."

Original Source: Abnormal fMRI Brain Activation in Euthymic Bipolar Disorder Patients During a Counting Stroop Interference Task. The American Journal of Psychiatry. September 2005.

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