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September 1, 2005

Brain Abnormalities in Pediatric Bipolar Disorder

In a study called "Cingulate Cortex Anatomical Abnormalities in Children and Adolescents With Bipolar Disorder," researchers looked at the anatomical abnormalities in the brains of children and adolescents with bipolar disorder. The study used magnetic resonance imaging to the cingulate cortex in those with pediatric bipolar disorder in comparison to mentally healthy individuals.

16 people with with pediatric bipolar disorder at an average age of 15.5 years were examined in comparison to 21 people were were mentally healthy and at an average age of 16.9 years. Three dimensional echo imaging was used and cingulate volumes were assessed.

Those with pediatric bipolar disorder had smaller average volumes in the left anterior cingulate, left posterior cingulate, and right posterior cingulate. "No significant between-group difference was found for the right anterior cingulate" (Kaur, 2005). The results of this study exemplify that those with pediatric bipolar disorder have "smaller cingulate volumes" meaning that this abnormality is present early on in the course of bipolar disorder.

Original Source: Cingulate Cortex Anatomical Abnormalities in Children and Adolescents With Bipolar Disorder. The American Journal of Psychiatry. September 2005.

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