CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
The exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown, but several factors seem to be involved in causing and triggering bipolar episodes:
- Biological differences. People with bipolar disorder appear to have physical changes in their brains. The significance of these changes is still uncertain but may eventually help pinpoint causes.
- Neurotransmitters. An imbalance in naturally occurring brain chemicals called neurotransmitters seems to play a significant role in bipolar disorder and other mood disorders.
- Hormones. Imbalanced hormones may be involved in causing or triggering bipolar disorder.
- Inherited traits. Bipolar disorder is more common in people who have a blood relative (such as a sibling or parent) with the condition. Researchers are trying to find genes that may be involved in causing bipolar disorder.
- Environment. Stress, abuse, significant loss or other traumatic experiences may play a role in bipolar disorder.
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