fMRI Distinguishes Between Bipolar Disorder and ADHD

Areas of working memory activation differ between pediatric bipolar disorder (BD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to new research. A small functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study showed that youths with BD used more of the limbic brain network and those with ADHD used more of their fronto-subcortical network during working memory tasks.

Robert M. Post, MD, director of the Bipolar Collaborative Network in Bethesda, Maryland, told Medscape Medical News, “It would be very interesting to see if they can turn this thing around and use it as a predictor. Whether the findings are robust enough to do that, I’m not sure. But it would be extremely helpful because you treat ADHD and bipolar so oppositely.”

Read more from the 9th International Conference on Bipolar Disorder (ICBD) here.

This is an interesting study. I would think it’s also an indicator that pediatric bipolar, or something similar, exists. There are so many skeptics out there who say children can’t have BD,, and I can understand them in that it’s different from adult BD, but it certainly seem sthis is an indicator there is something wrong with PBD children.

I just finished a book I think you’ll find interesting if you haven’t already read it. It’s called The Dark Side of Innocence – Growing Up Bipolar by Teri Cheney. She describes her early life, from her first memories until she enters college. It is a heartbreaking read, especially since she tried to commit suicide at the age of seven. I was sort of on the fence about children being bipolar until I read this book. (If you haven’t read her first book, Manic, it is also fascinating.)


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