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Causes of Bipolar disorder

List of causes of Bipolar disorder

Following is a list of causes or underlying conditions (see also Misdiagnosis of underlying causes of Bipolar disorder) that could possibly cause Bipolar disorder includes:

  • People with an immediate family member with bipolar disorder are at higher risk
  • Genetic factors
  • Environmental influence
  • Childhood precursors
  • Life events and experiences

Bipolar disorder Causes: Risk Factors

The following conditions have been cited in various sources as potentially causal risk factors related to Bipolar disorder:

Bipolar disorder Causes: Male-Female Gender Ratio

Gender of Patients for Bipolar disorder: Men and women equally....more »

Gender Profile of Bipolar disorder: Men and women are equally likely to develop this disabling illness. (Source: excerpt from Going to Extremes Bipolar Disorder: NIMH) ...more »

Gender Profile of Bipolar disorder: Although bipolar disorder is equally common in women and men, research indicates that approximately three times as many women as... (Source: excerpt from Bipolar Disorder Research at the National Institute of Mental Health: NIMH) ...more »

Bipolar disorder: Related Medical Conditions

To research the causes of Bipolar disorder, consider researching the causes of these these diseases that may be similar, or associated with Bipolar disorder:

Bipolar disorder: Causes and Types

Causes of Types of Bipolar disorder: Review the cause informationfor the various types of Bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I disorder - recurrent episodes of mania and depression
  • Bipolar II disorder - episodes of mild mania (hypomania) and depression
  • Rapid-cycling bipolar disorder - 4 or more episodes a year
  • more types...»

Causes of Broader Categories of Bipolar disorder: Review the causal information about the various more general categories of medical conditions:

Bipolar disorder as a complication of other conditions:

Other conditions that might have Bipolar disorder as a complication may, potentially, be an underlying cause of Bipolar disorder. Our database lists the following as having Bipolar disorder as a complication of that condition:

Bipolar disorder as a symptom:

Conditions listing Bipolar disorder as a symptom may also be potential underlying causes of Bipolar disorder. Our database lists the following as having Bipolar disorder as a symptom of that condition:

What causes Bipolar disorder?

Article excerpts about the causes of Bipolar disorder:
Scientists are learning about the possible causes of bipolar disorder through several kinds of studies. Most scientists now agree that there is no single cause for bipolar disorderórather, many factors act together to produce the illness.

Because bipolar disorder tends to run in families, researchers have been searching for specific genesóthe microscopic "building blocks" of DNA inside all cells that influence how the body and mind work and growópassed down through generations that may increase a person's chance of developing the illness. But genes are not the whole story. Studies of identical twins, who share all the same genes, indicate that both genes and other factors play a role in bipolar disorder. If bipolar disorder were caused entirely by genes, then the identical twin of someone with the illness would always develop the illness, and research has shown that this is not the case. But if one twin has bipolar disorder, the other twin is more likely to develop the illness than is another sibling.7

In addition, findings from gene research suggest that bipolar disorder, like other mental illnesses, does not occur because of a single gene.8   It appears likely that many different genes act together, and in combination with other factors of the person or the person's environment, to cause bipolar disorder. Finding these genes, each of which contributes only a small amount toward the vulnerability to bipolar disorder, has been extremely difficult. But scientists expect that the advanced research tools now being used will lead to these discoveries and to new and better treatments for bipolar disorder.

Brain-imaging studies are helping scientists learn what goes wrong in the brain to produce bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.9 ,10 New brain-imaging techniques allow researchers to take pictures of the living brain at work, to examine its structure and activity, without the need for surgery or other invasive procedures. These techniques include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). There is evidence from imaging studies that the brains of people with bipolar disorder may differ from the brains of healthy individuals. As the differences are more clearly identified and defined through research, scientists will gain a better understanding of the underlying causes of the illness, and eventually may be able to predict which types of treatment will work most effectively. (Source: excerpt from Bipolar Disorder: NIMH)

Medical news summaries relating to Bipolar disorder:

The following medical news items are relevant to causes of Bipolar disorder:

Related information on causes of Bipolar disorder:

As with all medical conditions, there may be many causal factors. Further relevant information on causes of Bipolar disorder may be found in:


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