The Elevated Levels Of Plasma Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor

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When you read about elevated levels of plasma brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in rapid cycling bipolar disorder patients, it could be quite a mouthful. One may wonder, what does this even mean? Well, in simple English, high concentrations of BDNF is something that has been seen in people who suffer from rapid cycling bipolar disorder when compared to healthy individuals. Rapid cycling is a random pattern of recurrent episodes which occurs in bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression. Someone with this may suffer through four or more occurrences of mania, hypomania, euthymia or depression in a single year. This can happen any time during the disorder and can also keep happening longer than just a few days, weeks, or months,…show more content…
It is diagnosed after multiple occurrences of hypomania, mania, euthymia, or depression are experienced, and when it happens more than four times in a year. Because of the frequent mood swings, affected anatomical pathways in rapid cycling are those in neural pathways that are thought to regulate human mood. In this study, a simple brain scan revealed the differences in structural volume when looking at a person with the disorder compared to a healthy individual. A patient with the bipolar disorder had an enlarged amygdala, which is responsible for emotions, memory and survival instincts. According to the researchers, there is a role of amygdala dysfunction in bipolar disorder. The way researchers have studied this problem so far is by comparing scanned MRIs of rapid cycling bipolar disorder patients with healthy people that are equivalent in age, gender, race, and education. Researchers have also been studying the peripheral and central nervous systems in rodents and pigs to observe the flow of BDNF and neurotrophin 3 (NT-3) through these systems, uncovering that both these neurotrophic factors have the ability to cross the blood brain barrier. The issue with rapid cycling bipolar disorder is that it can always be misdiagnosed as the standard bipolar disorder. Although both of these maladies are quite similar, the standard bipolar disorder is one in
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