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Facial expressions have greater impact on kids with bipolar disorder
Date:11/26/2007

during which they viewed 48 actors (half of which were seen previously during the MRI and half that were not previously viewed). They were then asked whether they recalled seeing the face during the earlier test.

During the encoding of happy faces, researchers observed increased activity in the region of the brain (striatum) associated with rewards in the children with bipolar disorder. Increased activity was also found in the part of the brain (orbitofrontal cortex) liked to irritability when the same children encoded angry faces. Brain activity in both instances was significantly greater than in children without bipolar disorder.

Based on the number of correct identifications during the memory task, Dickstein and colleagues also found that children with bipolar disorder demonstrated reduced memory for emotional faces as compared to children without bipolar disorder particularly with "fearful" faces.

This study suggests a neural basis for mania in children, which typically involves unusually irritable or excessively happy moods, and raises questions about whether treatments, therapy or medication could address these brain changes, Dickstein said.

The authors say further research is required to determine the impact of mood state, medication and the presence of an additional illness, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, on these findings.


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Contact: Jessica Grimes
jgrimes2@lifespan.org
401-432-1328
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

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