The neuropathology of depression and bipolar disorder
Professor James Potash discusses studies that show reductions in hippocampal volume in people with depression and abnormalities in cingulate areas in patients with bipolar disorder.
It would be extremely important to understand whether there are particular regions of the brain that are key in the pathology of depression and bipolar disorder. I’ll tell you that in the realm of depression it is pretty clear now; there have been 20 studies or so showing that the hippocampus is reduced in size in people with depression. In bipolar disorder the brain imaging studies have not shown any particular region to be consistently abnormal in size or in volume. There are some studies showing abnormal activity in certain bipolar disorder regions; the cingulate (anterior cingulate gyrus) for example is one.