Identifying bipolar disorder through MRI proves successful in initial results, say researchers.
By Peter Zafirides, M.D. on August 18, 2013
What are some of the most troubling numbers in all of mental health?
6 to 10
Why these specific numbers? It’s because they represent the number of years it usually takes to properly diagnose a mental health condition. Dr. Elizabeth Osuch, a Researcher at Lawson Health Research Institute, is helping to end misdiagnosis by looking for a ‘biomarker’ in the brain that will help diagnose and treat two commonly misdiagnosed disorders.
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Bipolar Disorder (BD) are two common mood disorders. Currently, diagnosis is made by patient observation and verbal history. But mistakes in diagnosis are not uncommon. Patients can find themselves going from doctor to doctor receiving improper diagnoses and prescribed medications to little effect.
Dr. Osuch looked to identify a ‘biomarker’ in the brain which could help optimize the diagnostic process. She examined youth who were diagnosed with either MDD or BD (15 patients in each group) and imaged their brains with an MRI to see if there was a region of the brain which corresponded with the bipolarity index (BI). The BI is a diagnostic tool which encompasses varying degrees of bipolar disorder, identifying symptoms and behavior in order to place a patient on the spectrum.