Can Blood Tests Help Diagnose and Treat Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorders are usually diagnosed with a clinical examination. Your doctor can study the levels of a neurotrophic factor in blood samples to understand bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. Another recent blood test can confirm the clinical diagnosis of the disorder. But the criteria for diagnosis always remain the same. Your doctor can also diagnose bipolar disorder using the number of molecules in a blood sample.

Causes of bipolar disorder

The primary cause of bipolar disorder is unknown, but several factors may be responsible. They include:

  • Genetics: Your condition may be caused by a particular gene. It can also be caused by changes to a certain gene. You are more prone to bipolar disorder if you have a family member with the condition.
  • Brain structure and function: Certain chemicals in the brain such as norepinephrine [1], dopamine [2], and serotonin [3] are important for maintaining neurological differences such as mood and psychiatric differences. Studies done by the National Alliance on Mental Illness show that the form and size of some areas of the brain are altered in people with bipolar disorder.
  • Stress: Bipolar disorder can be triggered by a great amount of stress. Significant stressors such as financial problems, divorce, severe health conditions, and the death of a family member or loved one can result in the onset of the condition.

More research needs to be done to learn about more causes and more efficient treatment methods.