Sample study
Interactive 2D and 3D review of a brain SPECT demonstrating Bipolar.

What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes changes in a person’s mood, energy, and ability to function. People with bipolar disorder experience intense emotional states that typically occur during distinct periods of days to weeks, called mood episodes. These mood episodes are categorized as manic/hypomanic (abnormally happy or irritable mood) or depressive (sad mood). People with bipolar disorder generally have periods of neutral mood as well. When treated, people with bipolar disorder can lead full and productive lives.

Bipolar Manic Episode Symptoms:
A manic episode is a period of at least one week when a person is extremely high-spirited or irritable most of the day for most days, possesses more energy than usual, and experiences at least three of the following changes in behavior:
Decreased need for sleep (e.g., feeling energetic despite significantly less sleep than usual
Increased or faster speech
Uncontrollable racing thoughts or quickly changing ideas or topics when speaking
Increased activity (e.g., restlessness, working on several projects at once)
Increased risky behavior (e.g., reckless driving, spending sprees)

Bipolar Depressive Episode Symptoms:
A major depressive episode is a period of at least two weeks in which a person has at least five of the following symptoms (including at least one of the first two symptoms):
Intense sadness or despair
Loss of interest in activities the person once enjoyed
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
Increased or decreased sleep
Increased or decreased appetite
Restlessness (e.g., pacing) or slowed speech or movement
Difficulty concentrating
Frequent thoughts of death or suicide

Value of SPECT
The value of SPECT in evaluating bipolar disorder is the ability to locate the specific areas of the brain that are affected as well as asses the severity. Based on the location of the abnormalities a more effective treatment plan can be established. Because SPECT is a functional imaging modality, it can detect changes in the brain long before they can be observed in anatomical imaging (CT/MR).