Bipolar Disorder (BD) is the fourth leading cause of disability among young people ages 10 to 24 globally. BD severely impacts quality of life by causing shifts in mood, energy, behavior, and ability to function. Many people suffer for years before obtaining an accurate diagnosis. New evidence links mitochondrial dysfunction in the brain to Bipolar Disorder.
Indicators of mitochondrial function in the brain can be measured using 31- Phosphorus Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (31P-MRS). A novel algorithm that compares mitochondrial function, as determined by 31P- MRS scans, to normal levels provides objective and reliable diagnoses. Additional scans could assess efficacy of prescribed treatments by comparing current mitochondrial function to patients’ initial levels.