Stanford Researchers Find Common Ground in Many Mental Disorders


The Stanford School of Medicine announced research findings from a study that reveals striking similarities in brain-matter loss with patients suffering from several mental illnesses.

The findings noted that patients suffering from bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder and similar mental illnesses showed reduced gray matter in three specific brain structures.

The differences between these mental disorders are small and many mental health professionals have wondered how different they really might be. The Stanford study seems to point towards them being much the same.

“We tried to ask a basic question that hasn’t been asked: Is there any common biological basis for mental illness?” senior author Amit Etkin, M.D., Ph.D., said in a press release.

Research compared diagnosed and health images

The Stanford research compared the images of 7,381 brains diagnosed with one of the disorders mentioned to over 8,500 images of healthy brains.

"Though the study conclusively determined the similarity of reduced gray matter in these three brain structures, it also discovered distinctions between certain illnesses relating to other parts of the brain," says the Stanford Daily.


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