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CNS Spectr. 2006 Apr;11(4):287-97.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies in bipolar disorder.

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Cognitive Neuroimaging and Neuropsychology Laboratory, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA 02478-9106, USA.


Abnormalities in brain activation using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during cognitive and emotional tasks have been identified in bipolar disorder patients, in frontal, subcortical and limbic regions. Several studies also indicate that mood state may be differentiated by lateralization of brain activation in fronto-limbic regions. The interpretation of fMRI studies in bipolar disorder is limited by the choice of regions of interest, medication effects, comorbidity, and task performance. These studies suggest that there is a complex alteration in regions important for neural networks underlying cognition and emotional processing in bipolar disorder. However, measuring changes in specific brain regions does not identify how these neural networks are affected. New analytical techniques of fMRI data are needed in order to resolve some of these issues and identify how changes in neural networks relate to cognitive and emotional processing in bipolar disorder.

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