Bipolar Disorder Essay

1230 words - 5 pages

Bipolar Disorder
The symptoms of Bipolar disorder are depression, mood swings, mania, and cyclothymia. There are two types of Bipolar disorder there is type I, which is manic depression (Bipolar Disorder, 2011) Patients with bipolar disorder II have never had any mania, instead the patient experiences periods of high energy levels and impulsiveness that are not as extreme as mania. This form of bipolar disorder is also called hypomania, the periods of extreme highs alternate with episodes of extreme depression (Bipolar Disorder, 2011). There is a mild form of bipolar disorder called cyclothymic disorder and this involves less severe mood swings and people with this form are wrongly ...view middle of the document...

This change in concentrations could be the pathway that leads to the damaged cause of bipolar disorder (Torrey, 2006). Recently, there have been studies that show neural degeneration that could potentially lead to the source of the disorder (Torrey, 2006). While it is still unclear what the exact cause of bipolar disorder is, there are many studies that do help explain in some depth what could be the underlying effects and in turn what could possibly help treat this disorder (Torrey, 2006).
The enlarged brain ventricles can cause headaches, seizures, and meningitis. Enlarged brain ventricles can be caused by malformation during the growth phase of the fetus (Torrey, 2006). People who are born with overly dilated brain ventricles can be susceptible to migraines, seizures, and meningitis. Ultrasounds during pregnancy can diagnose in its early stages (Torrey, 2006).
Damaged receptors are unable to process these chemicals for proper use and function, on the other side of the equation, an imbalance of the chemicals can damage receptors which causes sleeplessness of sleepiness, excessive anger or excessive joy, or an uncontrollable combination of any of the above (Torrey, 2006). The role of genetics plays a role on the onset of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is neurodevelopmental disorder and adolescence is a vulnerable period. This is a period of time when parts of the brain are still maturing, ones that are very important in the adult phenotype of bipolar disorder (Dallessio, 2008).
When parts of the brain are still maturing it may initiate a progression of abnormalities in that part of the brain, this is why adolescence is an important time in the onset of bipolar disorder and a vulnerable time for its development. Another reason why we have to consider prevention and early intervention during this critical period of time is because during adolescence the ventral prefrontal cortex is still very plastic and changing, allowing for the possibility of reversing the trajectory, this prevents progression and improves lifelong prognosis (Dallessio, 2008).
In looking for genes that would identify the presence of bipolar disorder we have to look at the phenotype definition of the individual first, asking ourselves, how do we define an affected individual? It is been suggested that bipolar disorder is genetically distinct from unipolar depression based on differences in age at onset and clinical course (Potash & DePaulo Jr., 2000)
What we know about the onset of bipolar disorder is that it usually happens in adolescence due to the physiology of the brain during that period of time and the lack of maturity of some parts of the brain (Potash & DePaulo Jr., 2000). There has been research around a gene or a set of genes that would identify presence of it but no conclusive data yet. Prevention and early intervention continue to be the key in...

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