MRIs Might Make Sense for Bipolar Patients

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Has your mental health therapist suggested that your mood shifts and behavioral issues might be due to bipolar disorder? There might be a way to confirm this diagnosis with a brain scan. Experts at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have been able to distinguish between brain scans of people with and without bipolar using MRI imaging. The technique is accurate in more than seven out of ten cases.

This obviously isn’t perfect. However, bipolar is very often misdiagnosed as depression or schizophrenia using current psychiatric techniques. Many patients with bipolar suffer for years before they get a diagnosis, which means they also go without the treatment they need. Having an additional diagnostic tool to use along with clinical evaluation and observation of behavior could be extremely helpful.

The results of this study will need to be replicated with larger groups of patients before you are likely to be able to get this test at a medical center in Orange County. However, in the coming years you are likely to see more and more psychiatric conditions being diagnosed with the assistance of imaging technology. Just remember that the most important thing is to find a psychiatrist who will treat you as a person – not as a scan or a diagnosis. To learn more about Dr. Tucker and his treatment philosophy, go here.