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The National Institute of Mental Health archives materials that are over 4 years old and no longer being updated. The content on this page is provided for historical reference purposes only and may not reflect current knowledge or information.

Brain Development in Bipolar Youth


Time-lapse MRI movie shows the brain developing from ages 7 to 22 years in nine youth who developed pediatric bipolar disorder. Blue indicates areas with smaller-than-normal, green normal, and yellow, orange and red larger-than normal gray matter volumes. The researchers found a pattern of gray matter gains in certain areas in the left hemisphere and prominent gray matter loss on the right and in mood regulating circuitry in the anterior cingulate, near the front of the brain. This differed from the pattern seen in children with childhood onset schizophrenia suggesting a different underlying illness process, despite overlapping symptoms.

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