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Monday, January 2, 2012

Brain scan bummer!

Mental illness is so hard to understand, diagnose and prove existence of because there is no blood test or scientifically accepted scan that causes a doctor to say, "Yes! You absolutely have bipolar disorder." We simply rely on behavior and mood monitoring to diagnosticate. There is NO part of me that doubts I have this order and I have accepted this. I DO, however, wish there were some source of reliably viewing the brain during  both a manic as well as depressive episodes. As it turns out, my hopes of this may be approaching reality.

Throughout my everlasting search for insight into my constant companion, Mr. Bipolar, I have happened upon several scans of brains exhibiting observation of the brain during manic/depressed episodes. The following link shows a few of these mentioned images which I find interesting. Maybe I should have been careful what I wished for. 

The most troubling statements in this study is as follows:

"They found that people with bipolar disorder suffer from an accelerated shrinking of their brain. "

"Imaging studies carried out four years apart showed loss of brain tissue in the areas controlling memory, face recognition and coordination."

Soooooo uncool! I have always been of the mindset that I can handle growing old so long as I have my brain and wits about me. Looks like that dream may not be attainable. Bummer! I refuse to lose hope or succumb myself to thinking I will be senile in my old age, but it does cause me concern.
It is my hope that in the near future we will be better able to interpret what mental illnesses look like and how they affect the brain so we can better understand what we are dealing with. This information would prove valuable for research into treatment. 


Mike Bollinger said...

I don't want your brain to shrink or you to become senile either, since I'm going to be around for a long time. ;-)

The Bollinger Family said...

Hopefully I will know who in the heck you are. lol Maybe we should start making a movie like the one in "50 First Dates".