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Brain Imaging Techniques and Their Application to Bipolar Disorder 

Brain Imaging Techniques and Their Application to Bipolar Disorder
Brain Imaging Techniques and Their Application to Bipolar Disorder

Caleb M. Adler

and Michael A. Cerullo

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date: 20 June 2021

Recent technological advances have radically changed the nature of brain imaging, allowing significant advances in the understanding of psychiatric disorders and the neural substrates underlying affective and psychotic symptoms. A number of techniques have been used to study the structure and function of the bipolar brain, including computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). Increasingly however, brain imaging is being dominated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques that allow examination of brain anatomy (both gray and white matter), functional activity, and neurochemistry. Each of these imaging methodologies allow examination of different aspects of neuroanatomy and physiology, and have both strengths and weaknesses that must be considered when designing studies and interpreting findings. As neuroimaging techniques continue to proliferate and advance, it is likely that these methodologies will play a major role in improving our understanding of bipolar neurophysiology, as well as in the development of novel, more effective treatments.

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