The Bipolar Brain: Integrating Neuroimaging and Genetics

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Bipolar disorder is one of the most common, and disabling, conditions affecting human kind. Each year, millions of individuals struggle with the effects of this illness. Although clinically well recognized for decades, if not centuries, the causes of this condition remain incompletely understood. However, in the past decade, significant technological advances in both neuroimaging and genetic research have revealed clues about the neurophysiological basis of bipolar illness. In this book, leading experts in neuroimaging and genetics discuss recent discoveries in bipolar disorder that identify both the structural, functional and chemical brain changes that seem to underlie this condition, as well as the possible genetic causes of these brain events. Based upon these discussions, the book then integrates these diverse considerations to develop a specific neurophysiological model of bipolar disorder. This model provides a resource to guide clinicians and patients as they struggle to understand this illness, as well as a guide for future investigations into the causes of bipolar disorder. With this guide in hand, this book will lead to a new framework for understanding bipolar disorder in order to, ultimately, develop improved therapies for affected individuals and novel strategies to prevent the onset in children at risk for this condition.