The Science & Treatment of Bipolar Disorder


Huberman Lab

In this episode, I explain the biology, symptoms, causes and types of bipolar disorder (sometimes called bipolar depression). I discuss neuroplasticity and how the brain normally regulates mood, energy, and perceptions; then, I contrast that with the biology of bipolar disorder, which is characterized by extremes of energy and mood, e.g., mania and depression. I outline the mechanisms through which bipolar disorder manifests in the brain, including deficits of interoception and reduced connections between the parietal and limbic systems. I also outline how treatment options (such as lithium) work in part through homeostatic plasticity.’ I discuss not only lithium but also the treatment of bipolar with ketamine, different talk therapies, electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and nutraceuticals, including Omega-3 and Inositol supplementation. This episode should interest anyone who has or knows someone with bipolar disorder and, more broadly, those interested in how the brain works to create a balance between thoughts, energy levels, focus, and mood.

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(00:00:00) Bipolar Disorder

(00:03:42) Tool: Appetite Suppression & GLP-1, Parallel Pathways, Yerba Mate

(00:9:19) Sponsors: AG1, LMNT

(00:14:24) Prevalence & Severity of Bipolar Disorder

(00:16:30) Bipolar Disorder I, Diagnostic Criteria of Mania

(00:28:58) Bipolar Disorder II, Individual Variability

(00:33:07) Bipolar I vs. Bipolar II: Manic, Depressive & Symptom-Free States

(00:38:20) Consequences of Bipolar Disorder, Heritability

(00:46:53) Bipolar Disorder vs. Borderline Personality Disorder

(00:51:51) Mania & Depression, Negative Impacts

(00:53:06) History of Lithium Treatment

(01:02:44) Lithium Treatment & Side-Effects

(01:05:05) Effects of Lithium: BDNF, Anti-inflammatory & Neuroprotection

(01:10:10) Neural Circuits of Bipolar Disorder, Interoception, Hyper- vs. Hypoactivity

(01:17:11) Neural States & Mania, Parietal Lobe & Limbic System

(01:22:58) Homeostatic Plasticity, Synaptic Scaling, Lithium & Ketamine

(01:36:00) Talk Therapies: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family-Focused Therapy, Interpersonal & Social Rhythm Therapy

(01:43:18) Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)

(01:48:01) Psylocibin, Cannabis

(01:51:50) Lifestyle Support, Supplements: Inositol & Omega-3 Fatty Acids

(02:03:31) Omega-3s, Membrane Fluidity & Neuroplasticity

(02:06:44) Mania, Creativity & Occupations

(02:15:33) Bipolar Disorder: Diagnosis, Neural Circuits & Treatment

(02:17:45) Zero-Cost Support, YouTube Feedback, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, Momentous Supplements, Instagram, Twitter, Neural Network Newsletter

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac


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