Postural Problems May Indicate Bipolar Disorder

A number of psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, have symptoms related to motor control issues. One common symptoms is postural problems, or difficulty maintaining balance while standing. A new study from researchers at Indiana University suggests that this problem may be more important to understanding bipolar disorder and other psychiatric illnesses than previously thought.

The study, published recently in PLoS ONE, found that people with bipolar disorder have more than normal difficulty staying still while standing upright. This appears to be because they process sensory information differently than people with no psychological disorders, making it harder for them to adjust their posture correctly to maintain balance.

The hope is that this link between motor control and psychological disorders will lead to improved diagnosis and treatment for disorders like bipolar and schizophrenia. There is a possibility that motor problems could appear before other psychological symptoms, which would allow for earlier identification of people at risk for developing certain mental disorders. It is also possible that areas of the brain responsible for motor control would make promising targets for new drug therapies, an area of research that could benefit from new direction.

Read more: http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/05/25/postural-problems-a-sign-of-bipo...

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