We view the ventral striatum as the brain’s gas pedal. It helps one get up off the couch to go pursue the rewards and goals one has in their life. From this perspective, bipolar disorder can be viewed as too much horse power or too much acceleration (i.e., too much of a good thing). In the extreme, this excessive amount of motivation or acceleration is reflected in hypomanic or manic states. Thus, inflammation is like pouring kerosene on an already hot fire. It is like a two-hit punch that puts people with already high levels of reward-related brain function at an even greater risk for bipolar disorder. Thus, I argue that by modeling both reward-related brain function and inflammation together we can further refine the precision of our “Quest for the Test” and obtain greater accuracy in predicting who does and does not go on to develop bipolar disorder.
|Effective start/end date||1/1/19 → 12/31/19|
- Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation (Check dated 1-15-19)