A 'sticky' interhemispheric switch in bipolar disorder?

Pettigrew, J. D. and Miller, S. M. (1998) A 'sticky' interhemispheric switch in bipolar disorder?. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 265 1411: 2141-2148. doi:10.1098/rspb.1998.0551

Author Pettigrew, J. D.
Miller, S. M.
Title A 'sticky' interhemispheric switch in bipolar disorder?
Journal name Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0962-8452
Publication date 1998-11-22
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rspb.1998.0551
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 265
Issue 1411
Start page 2141
End page 2148
Total pages 8
Publisher Royal Society
Language eng
Subject 1100 Agricultural and Biological Sciences
1101 Medical Biochemistry and Metabolomics
Abstract Despite years of research into bipolar disorder (manic depression), its underlying pathophysiology remains elusive. It is widely acknowledged that the disorder is strongly heritable, but the genetics are complex with less than full concordance in monozygotic twins and at least four susceptibility loci identified. We propose that bipolar disorder is the result of a genetic propensity for slow interhemispheric switching mechanisms that become 'stuck' in one or the other state. Because slow switches are also 'sticky' when compared with fast switches, the clinical manifestations of bipolar disorder may be explained by hemispheric activation being 'stuck' on the left (mania) or on the right (depression). Support for this 'sticky' interhemispheric switching hypothesis stems from our recent observation that the rate of perceptual alternation in binocular rivalry is slow in euthymic subjects with bipolar disorder (n = 18, median = 0.27 Hz) compared with normal controls (n = 49, median = 0.60 Hz, p < 0.0005). We have presented evidence elsewhere that binocular rivalry is itself an interhemispheric switching phenomenon. The rivalry alternation rate (putative interhemispheric switch rate) is robust in a given individual, with a test-retest correlation of more than 0.8, making it suitable for genetic studies. The interhemispheric switch rate may provide a trait-dependent biological marker for bipolar disorder.
Keyword Binocular rivalry
Bipolar disorder
Interhemispheric switching
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
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