Bipolar Disorder is characterized by various types of episodes of affective disorder, including depression, full mania, lesser degrees of, mania called hypomania, and even mixed episodes in which mania and depression seem to coincide (1)
The Causes of Bipolar Disorder
The exact aetiology and pathophysiology of bipolar disorder has yet to be established, however research into the topic has uncovered several risk factors believed to play a role in the development of the disorder. (3)
Of the possible risk factors heredity and genetics seem to be very strong. Several twin and family studies have been conducted confirming a strong genetic implications of bipolar disorder. One such study, High Concordance Of Bipolar One Disorder In Nationwide Sample Of Twins Kieseppä et al, the probandwise concordance rates for bipolar I disorder is 0.43 in MZ twins and 0.06 in DZ twins, while the probandwise concordance rate for broad affective disorder spectrum was 0.75 for MZ twins and 0.11 for DZ twins (4). These results suggest a strong genetic component to the disorder. In addition to this, adoptions studies suggest that heredity is more influential than a common social environment, as results of such studies indicate that children whose biological have either Bipolar disorder or other affective disorders remain at high risk, whether or not their biological parents raise them (3).
Researchers have also implicated disorders of circadian as being responsible for affective disorder including Bipolar disorder. It has been known for many years that daily rhythms are prominent in many functions from sleeping and waking, hormone levels and attention and mood. Although it has long since been hypothesised that disorders in the circadian clock may underlie the development of mood disorders, these theories have come to the forefront of research recently because of increased understanding of the biology of this connection (5).
Recent research into the...