Brain scans measuring blood flow can help diagnose bipolar disorder at an early stage and distinguish the condition from depression, according to a study conducted by a University of Pittsburgh research team published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

For the study, 44 females were evaluated: Eighteen with bipolar-I disorder, 18 with unipolar depression (also called major depressive disorder), and 18 healthy individuals to act as a control group. The women were carefully matched for demographic and clinical variables, and all were experiencing a depressive episode as they were assessed for the study.

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