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Neuroimaging in Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia 

Neuroimaging in Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia
Neuroimaging in Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia

Heather C. Whalley

, Jessika E. Sussmann

, and Andrew M. McIntosh

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date: 29 July 2021

Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are overlapping syndromes that show evidence of shared risk factors, treatments and disease outcomes. Magnetic resonance imaging has been used to address the question of whether these are separate diseases or whether a single category or dimension better explains clinical observations. Evidence from brain imaging has yielded a complex answer. Studies of grey and white matter imaging suggest a degree of overlap, but investigations to date have been too small and infrequent to come to any confident conclusion. Studies using functional MRI on the other hand, suggest that there may be significant differences in task related activation of frontotemporal and limbic brain regions, possibly mirroring the relatively common and distinct clinical phenotypes seen in practice. These findings suggest that imaging may yet prove to have predictive diagnostic value and utility in defining syndromes more closely related to their underlying etiology.

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