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MRI scan sensitive to metabolic changes reveals brain differences in bipolar disorder

Sometimes, a new way of looking at something can bring to light an entirely new perspective.

MRI of Bipolar Brain (image)
Using an MRI technique that is sensitive to certain byproducts of cell metabolism, including levels of glucose and acidity, researchers discovered previously unrecognized differences in the brains of patients with . The T1rho MRI scans showed brain regions of elevated signal in the 15 participants with compared to the 25 participants who did not have . The primary regions of difference are the cerebral white matter (yellow) and the cerebellum (red).

Credit: University of Iowa

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In addition to Wemmie and Johnson, the study team included UI researcher Jess Fiedorowicz, , Robin Follmer, Ipek Oguz, Lois Warren, and Gary Christensen.

A major source of funding for the research was a philanthropic gift from UI alumnus Roger Koch, who established the Roger L. Koch Mental Illness Research Fund in 2010 through the University of Iowa Foundation.

The study was also supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and NARSAD.

University of Iowa Health Care