Tests for diagnosing bipolar disorder

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Changes in brain neurotransmitter levels

It has been shown that patients with bipolar disorder, particularly in the acute phases of the illness, have abnormally low or high levels of certain neurotransmitters, as well as changes in the neuroimages (higher or lower activation of some areas depending on the type of episode), and that the response to certain biochemical tests is different to that of individuals that do not have any type of mental disorder. Even so, all this is not sufficiently specific to be of diagnostic use; that is to say, similar changes are also produced in other types of patients.

Doctor talking to patient or interview with transplant group

The interview with the psychiatrist continues to be the only diagnostic method of a bipolar disorder. The psychiatric interview is a perfectly structured technique, with some well-defined steps that must give the same results when it is applied by two professionals.

Substantiated information by:

Ana Isabel Martínez Arán
Diego Alberto Hidalgo Mazzei
Eduard Vieta Pascual
Mercè Comes Forastero

Published: 20 March 2018
Updated: 20 March 2018

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