Edinburgh Imaging

MSc projects 2021 002

A literature review of structural brain differences in individuals at high risk for developing bipolar disorder.


Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by extreme mood swings that alternate between depression & mania. The development of this disorder has been shown to be in part genetic, with individuals that have a family history of affective disorders being more likely to develop bipolar disorder. This paper reviews a literature review of studies that explored the brain structure via magnetic resonance imaging of individuals that had developed bipolar disorder, their healthy relatives, and other controls. The aim of the study was to determine what area of the brain may be indicated in the development, resilience, or risk of bipolar disorder. This study also took a brief look at what genes may be related to bipolar disorder & how they might impact brain structure. Overall, the review found several different areas of the brain where implicated with bipolar but there was no clear consensus on any specific areas that might be responsible. The research that has been done at this point also lacks consistency in many regards making the comparison of studies difficult.

Project type:
  • Systematic review¬†
Imaging keywords:
Application / disease keywords:
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Mania
  • 20-21