Functional neuroimaging studies of bipolar disorder: examining the wide clinical spectrum in the search for disease endophenotypes

Lisa A. Pan, Matthew T. Keener, Stefanie Hassel, Mary L. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bipolar disorder (BP) is among the top ten most disabling illnesses worldwide. This review includes findings from recent studies employing functional neuroimaging to examine functional abnormalities in neural systems underlying core domains of the psychopathology in BP: emotion processing, emotion regulation and executive control, and common comorbid features of BP, that are relevant to the wide spectrum of BP rather than focused on the more traditional BPI subtype, and that may facilitate future identification of diagnostically-relevant biomarkers of the disorder. In addition, an emerging number of studies are reviewed that demonstrate the use of neuroimaging to elucidate biomarkers whose identification may help to (1) identify at-risk individuals who will subsequently develop the illness to facilitate early intervention, (2) identify targets for treatment and markers of treatment response. The use of newer neuroimaging techniques and potential confounds of psychotropic medication upon neuroimaging findings in BP are also examined. These approaches will help to improve diagnosis and the mental well-being of all individuals with BP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-379
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Review of Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009


  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • magnetoencephalography
  • emotions
  • differential diagnosis
  • positron-emission tomography
  • bipolar disorder
  • humans
  • Brain
  • major depressive disorder
  • antimanic agents
  • cerebral dominance
  • nerve Net
  • phenotype
  • brain mapping
  • risk factors
  • executive function
  • genetic predisposition to disease
  • neuropsychological tests
  • computer-assisted image processing
  • anticonvulsants


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