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Biol Psychiatry. 1991 Jan 15;29(2):149-58.

Manic-depressive and pure manic states after brain lesions.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205.


Although mania is a rare complication of brain lesions, recent reports have emphasized the importance of lesion location and genetic predisposition in these patients. In the present study we compared patients who developed a bipolar affective disorder (i.e., mania and depression) after a brain lesion with patients who only developed mania. Although no significant between-group differences were found on demographic variables, the manic-depressed group showed significantly more impairments on the Mini Mental State Exam than the mania only group. All the bipolar patients had subcortical lesions (mainly right head of the caudate and right thalamus), while patients with unipolar mania had significantly higher frequency of cortical involvement (mainly right orbitofrontal and basotemporal cortices). It is suggested that subcortical and cortical right hemisphere lesions may produce different neurochemical and/or remote metabolic brain changes that may underlie the production of either a bipolar disease or a unipolar mania.

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