Unlike the brains of adults who suffer from the unrelenting mood swings of bipolar disorder, the brains of children and teenagers diagnosed with this severe mental condition have an unusually small version of the structure associated with learning, memory, and emotion regulation, according to a new brain-scan investigation.
In the largest study of its kind, a team led by psychiatrist Jean A. Frazier of the Cambridge (Mass.) Health Alliance studied 43 youngsters, ages 6 to 16, with bipolar disorder and 20 kids in the same age range who had no mental ailments. Magnetic resonance imaging scanners measured tissue volume throughout each volunteer's brain.
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