Bipolar Disorder

By: Cristina Ruiz

History/Background

Bipolar Disorder is one of the most highly investigated neurological disorders. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that it affects over 2% of adults in the U.S. Of the 2% nearly 83% have "severe" cases of the disorder. Only 40% receive "minimally adequate treatment." Bipolar Disorder is highly recognized as treatable.

Symptoms/Description of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder, formerly called Manic Depression, causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs and lows. Mood shifts may only occur a few times a year, or as often as several times a weeks. Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder include mood swings, sadness, elevated mood, anger, anxiety, apathy, euphoria, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, inability to feel pleasure, loss of interest.

How Bipolar Disorder Impacts the Brain

Scientists believe that two neurotransmitters, or chemical messengers in the brain- serotonin and non adrenaline may at least partly explain the connection between genes and mood. Serotonin and non adrenaline play a role in mood regulation.

How Bipolar Disorder Impacts the Central Nervous System

Bipolar Disorder is a serious illness of the nervous system. The nervous system of people with bipolar disorders frequently make specific types of regulatory errors.

How Bipolar Disorder Impacts the Endocrine System

The thyroid, an endocrine organ located in the neck which produces thyroid hormones, has been the focus of much mood disorder research. Depression is linked to low levels of the thyroid hormone, a condition known as Hypothyroidism. While mood elevation is often associated with high levels of thyroid hormone.

Genetics and Bipolar Disorder

Between 20 and 25% of the people with mood disorders have a family member who is affected by a similar disorder. Identical twins of affected individuals are more likely to be be affected than fraternal twins.

Percentage of People with Bipolar Disorder

Approximately 2.6% of the U.S population is affected with Bipolar Disorder.

Interesting Facts

Demi Lovato, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Vivien Leigh(Gone with the Wind), and Van Gogh are famous people known to have Bipolar Disorder.