Bipolar disorder in children - brain abnormalities

Professor Judith Rapoport discusses her research group's finding that children with bipolar disorder have abnormal brain development.

We have a study on bipolar children, and in fact what’s unique about our study is that the children were sent to us because they were thought possibly to have schizophrenia. When we met them, this was a group of children who were very impulsive. They occasionally had very brief signs, like hearing voices or seeing things, but it was very brief, five minutes per month, and their thinking was clear and they related to people in a very ordinary way. This group of children we followed because we wanted to make sure that we had turned them down from our study correctly, so we saw them every two years over about a ten year period. And so, because of this, and to our surprise, about half of this group we were following became classic bipolar cases. We had their brain development at the same time we had children with schizophrenia, and they had a much more subtle kind of abnormality in the brain, and they were taking very similar medications to the schizophrenic children, so you always worry if something could be the result of a treatment for a disorder. For example, could anything abnormal that you see in the brain scan be because of the drug someone is on and not because of their illness? But since they were on the same drugs, we’re pretty sure that this is because they had a different diagnosis. And it’s more subtle, it was more on one side of the brain than the other (the abnormalities), and much, much less marked than what you saw with the schizophrenics. It was not a large group, however, and we haven’t pursued this.

bipolar, disorder, childhood, child, children, brain, neuropathology, abnormal, abnormalities, judith, rapoport,

Related Content

1989. The neuropathology of depression and bipolar disorder

Professor James Potash discusses studies that show reductions in hippocampal volume in people with depression and abnormalities in cingulate areas in patients with bipolar disorder.

  • ID: 1989
  • Source: G2C

1981. Childhood bipolar disorder - brain abnormalities

Professor James Potash discusses the dramatic increase in the rates of diagnosis of childhood bipolar disorder, which has risen forty-fold in recent years.

  • ID: 1981
  • Source: G2C

2359. Bipolar Disorder, Genetics, and the Brain

Doctor Ellen Lebienluft explains how brain imaging data is being combined with genetic research to understand how bipolar disorder affects brain function.

  • ID: 2359
  • Source: G2C

2223. Bipolar disorder

An overview of bipolar disorder-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.

  • ID: 2223
  • Source: G2C

2203. Brain cells and ADHD - a black hole

Professor Judith Rapoport describes attempts to define cellular abnormalities in ADHD as something of a black hole, which may be due to the polygenic nature of the disorder.

  • ID: 2203
  • Source: DNALC.G2C

2350. Childhood Bipolar Disorder

Doctor Ellen Leibenluft discusses recent research into childhood bipolar disorder, which is most commonly found in children with a family history of the disorder.

  • ID: 2350
  • Source: G2C

2224. ADHD

An overview of ADHD-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.

  • ID: 2224
  • Source: G2C

2156. Neuropathology of attention

Professor Philip Shaw discusses research that indicates a pattern of right-hemisphere dominance for attention in the mature brain.

  • ID: 2156
  • Source: G2C

883. Treating Autism

Exploring the possiblities of 'bringing back' the brain of a child with autism.

  • ID: 883
  • Source: G2C

2199. Neuropathology of attention and ADHD

Professor Judith Rapoport discusses correlates of attention in the frontal and parietal lobes, which are related to the neuropathology of attention.

  • ID: 2199
  • Source: G2C