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Disorders of the Brain

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Submitted By wshaniqu
Words 409
Pages 2
Shanique N. Williams
PS 124 Introduction to Pyschology
Jennifer Robertson
December 10, 2013

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks (NIMH). The symptoms of this brain disorder are normally severe. It’s pretty obvious if a person has this illness. The effects of this illness not only affect the body, but it affects relationships, job and normal day to day performance. Fortunately, bipolar disorders can be treated with medication in order to leave a normal lifestyle.

Which parts of the brain are believed to be involved in this disorder, and how do these areas of the brain influence the development and behavior of the individual? The main brain areas involved in bipolar disorder include the frontal and temporal lobes of the forebrain, the prefrontal cortex, the basal ganglia and parts of the limbic system. The cerebral cortex is involved in thought processes and it is possible that abnormalities in this part of the forebrain are responsible for the negative thoughts that are associated with the depressive episodes of bipolar disorder. Briefly describe at least one method which has been used to study this disorder (EEG, fMRI, etc.), and what this method involves. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) allow researchers to take pictures of the living brain and can detect bipolar disorder. These tools help scientists study the brain's structure and activity. These methods involve scans that show the difference between a normal brain and a person with a mental disorder. They will also show brain patterns of people from childhood age up to adulthood.

Describe at least one neurotransmitter(s) that is believed to function abnormally in this disorder, and how this impacts on the behavior of the individual. Neurotransmitters play an important role in bipolar disorder and other mood disorders. One specific neurotransmitter that will function abnormal with bipolar disorder is norepinephrine. Chemicals, such as norepinephrine, move rapidly from one cell to the next in the brain and carry messages. This impacts the behavior of an individual this chemical helps a person stay calm in situation. It is made to be kicked out by the adrenal glands during stressful times.

References
Stangor, C. 2010. Introduction to Psychology. Irving, NY: Flat World Knowledge, Inc.
Retrieved on December 11, 2013 from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml…...

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