home
RSS
March 2nd, 2011
12:24 PM ET

Sheen has us asking: What's bipolar?

Over the last couple days, I have found it interesting how many people have watched the antics and interviews with Charlie Sheen, and immediately diagnosed him as either being on drugs or in the middle of a manic episode. Could be – but who knows, maybe it is all a big ruse. His erratic behavior is not in question, but arriving at a diagnosis based on a TV interview is impossible. In fact, my colleagues in the psychiatry community say it can be challenging even after completing a full assessment.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by the occurrence of at least one manic episode during the patient’s lifetime. Most patients also, at other times, have one or more
depressive episodes. In the intervals between these episodes, most patients return to their normal state of well-being. This is according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). When looking for evidence of mania, doctors often cite symptoms like being overly euphoric, agitated behavior, racing speech and impulsive behavior to name a few. Just reading that gives you an idea of why arriving conclusively at a diagnosis can sometimes be so difficult.

That is why I was so interested in a paper I recently read. Scientists at UCLA took on the goal of peering deep into someone’s brain, while the person was in the middle of a manic episode, to better understand what was happening. Now, as you might imagine, getting someone who is manic to agree to sit still in a functional MRI scanner wasn’t easy, but eventually the researchers recruited 18 patients into the study, nine of whom met the criteria for a manic episode, and nine other patients, who were healthy and served as controls.

What they found was fascinating. When given certain tasks to perform, the manic patients had a decrease in activity in part of the frontal lobe. Think about that - the frontal lobes are sort of your behavioral filter, and the activity there was much lower than in a healthy person. It is the part of the brain that makes you think before you speak or evaluate before you act. If there is low activity, those filters are turned way down, and you may start to see the impulsive, racing behavior associated with a manic episode. Those same patients also had higher than normal activity in the amygdala, which is associated with emotion.

When you look at these brain scans, consider this - you are seeing evidence of what a manic episode really looks like. And, in another study with depressed patients, the findings were very nearly the opposite. The filters were turned way up and the frontal lobe area shined brightly, whereas the emotional part of the brain had lower activity.

For now, patients with true mental illness can get outstanding diagnosis and treatment. This is a glimpse, though, of where the mental health field may be headed. Could we be approaching a day when a person with concerns about mental illness could get a special scan to find out? And, might that information also answer the question about the best treatment options as well? What do you think the pros and cons are, if scans like this became available?


« Previous entry
soundoff (490 Responses)
  1. canadian generic pills

    best canadian mail order pharmacies for diet pills https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian weight loss pills

    April 29, 2021 at 04:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RfvbZisse

    splitting cialis http://cileve.com/ where can i buy cialis

    April 29, 2021 at 10:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. JbsdEncox

    canadian drug store https://onlinecanda21.com/ Ventolin inhalator

    April 30, 2021 at 12:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. JbsdEncox

    Super Kamagra pharmacy cost comparison canadian pharmacy no prescription

    April 30, 2021 at 16:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. cialis, sale, canadian pharm.

    how safe and reliable are canadian cialis https://canadacialisstore.com/ cialis viagra combination canadian pharmacy

    April 30, 2021 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. LhdvZisse

    free cialis samples canada https://asciled.com/ – cialis ordering generic cialis uk

    April 30, 2021 at 22:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. LrbsEncox

    levitra dosing http://uslevitraanna.com/ levitra for sale

    May 1, 2021 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. FbsfEncox

    canadian pharmacy king http://uspharmus.com/ canada viagra

    May 2, 2021 at 06:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. LrbsEncox

    levitra frequency http://uslevitraanna.com/ generic levitra suppliers

    May 2, 2021 at 10:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. LhdvZisse

    generic cialis cost http://asciled.com/ – buying cialis in australia 10 mg cialis

    May 2, 2021 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. AbdgEncox

    Zerit http://canadianeve21.com/ – online medicine order discount Provera

    May 2, 2021 at 16:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. JebgEncox

    online pharmacy http://pharmacylo.com/ Micronase

    May 3, 2021 at 18:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. JebgEncox

    rx plus pharmacy pharmacy online track order pharmacy without prescription

    May 3, 2021 at 23:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RebfZisse

    cialis no precription http://rcialisgl.com/ montreal drug cialis

    May 4, 2021 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. LebnEncox

    Gyne-Lotrimin canadian family pharmacy online otc pharmacy

    May 4, 2021 at 22:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. LbsoZisse

    cialis 10 mg http://ucialisdas.com/ cialis generic purchase

    May 5, 2021 at 03:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. FmrfEncox

    arghentina cialis http://cialisee.com/ – cialis nz viagra/cialis packs

    May 5, 2021 at 06:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. BbshMile

    viagra gif https://loxviagra.com/ – viagra vs cialis vs levitra female viagra 2015

    May 5, 2021 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. LebnEncox

    anti-depressants http://xlnpharmacy.com/ online medicine tablets shopping

    May 5, 2021 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. AnooEncox

    viagra hvor mange mg http://llviagra.com/ viagra tablets for men in pakistan

    May 5, 2021 at 18:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. BbshMile

    what happens when a girl takes viagra http://loxviagra.com/ i am a woman and i took viagra

    May 5, 2021 at 19:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. LbsoZisse

    buy cialis on line https://ucialisdas.com/ cialis nz

    May 6, 2021 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. FmrfEncox

    cialis 20mg overnight http://cialisee.com/ buy cialis black

    May 6, 2021 at 17:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. priligy

    dapoxetine for sale priligy for sale uk

    May 7, 2021 at 04:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RebfZisse

    taking cialis and viagra together https://rcialisgl.com/ – price of cialis cialis australia no prescription

    May 7, 2021 at 19:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. AnooEncox

    campioni omaggio viagra https://llviagra.com/ schäden durch viagra

    May 9, 2021 at 05:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. JebgEncox

    Antabuse https://pharmacylo.com/ pharmacy express

    May 10, 2021 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. JebgEncox

    Voltaren Starlix apollo pharmacy online

    May 10, 2021 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RebfZisse

    brand cialis canada https://rcialisgl.com/ resaonably priced cialis

    May 11, 2021 at 08:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. LbsoZisse

    cialis inr http://ucialisdas.com/ generic cialis priligy australia

    May 12, 2021 at 05:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. FmrfEncox

    cialis paypal online https://cialisee.com/ viragecialis

    May 12, 2021 at 08:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. BbshMile

    does viagra make you bigger than normal https://loxviagra.com/ – buy real viagra online what drugs should not be taken with viagra?

    May 12, 2021 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. AnooEncox

    save-80 -on-viagra-levitra-and-cialis-and-hundreds-of-other-meds http://llviagra.com/ what doctors prescribe viagra

    May 12, 2021 at 20:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. LebnEncox

    Astelin panacea pharmacy quit smoking

    May 13, 2021 at 04:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. BbshMile

    side effects of viagra in older men http://loxviagra.com/ viagra how does it work

    May 13, 2021 at 08:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. GtnbCrulk

    woman viagra http://jokviagra.com/ – viagra ad does viagra lower your blood pressure

    May 13, 2021 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. FmrfEncox

    how to cut 20mg. cialis https://cialisee.com/ – cialis online without perscription viamedic cialis

    May 13, 2021 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. LbsoZisse

    use cialis promise coupon orlando fl http://ucialisdas.com/ – cialis coupons how much is cialis in canada

    May 13, 2021 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. LebnEncox

    Ponstel https://xlnpharmacy.com/ canadian pills

    May 13, 2021 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. storno brzinol

    I visited a lot of website but I believe this one contains something extra in it in it

    http://www.stornobrzinol.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 09:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. GtnbCrulk

    viagra mechanism of action http://jokviagra.com/ viagra song

    May 14, 2021 at 13:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RebfZisse

    cialis overnight http://rcialisgl.com/ buy cialis pay with paypal canada

    May 14, 2021 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. cyclomune

    cyclosporine medication cyclomune 0.1% eye drops

    May 15, 2021 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. AnooEncox

    illegal possession of viagra https://llviagra.com/ turtle viagra

    May 15, 2021 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. storno brzinol

    I like this web blog very much so much wonderful info .

    http://www.stornobrzinol.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 22:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RebfZisse

    dapoxetine cialis american express http://rcialisgl.com/ – cheapest brand cialis 20mg special sales on cialis

    May 17, 2021 at 10:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. JebgEncox

    mexican pharmacy weight loss http://pharmacylo.com/ best online pharmacy no prescription

    May 17, 2021 at 20:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. JebgEncox

    pharmacy online no prescription online pharmacy pain relief cialis daily

    May 17, 2021 at 23:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. LbsoZisse

    generic cialis site accept mastercard http://ucialisdas.com/ free trial offer cialis

    May 18, 2021 at 05:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. LebnEncox

    Myambutol canadian pharmacy viagra brand Calan

    May 18, 2021 at 19:14 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Leave a Reply to Kathryn Susbauer


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

« Previous entry
Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.