Functional neuroanatomy of mania

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Mania, the diagnostic hallmark of bipolar disorder, is an episodic disturbance of mood, sleep, behavior, and perception. Improved understanding of the neurobiology of mania is expected to allow for novel avenues to address current challenges in its diagnosis and treatment. Previous research focusing on the impairment of functional neuronal circuits and brain networks has resulted in heterogenous findings, possibly due to a focus on bipolar disorder and its several phases, rather than on the unique context of mania. Here we present a comprehensive overview of the evidence regarding the functional neuroanatomy of mania. Our interpretation of the best available evidence is consistent with a convergent model of lateralized circuit dysfunction in mania, with hypoactivity of the ventral prefrontal cortex in the right hemisphere, and hyperactivity of the amygdala, basal ganglia, and anterior cingulate cortex in the left hemisphere of the brain. Clarification of dysfunctional neuroanatomic substrates of mania may contribute not only to improve understanding of the neurobiology of bipolar disorder overall, but also highlights potential avenues for new circuit-based therapeutic approaches in the treatment of mania.

Original languageEnglish
Article number29
JournalTranslational Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2022


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