Minor physical anomalies

What are minor physical anomalies in bipolar disorder?

Minor physical anomalies (MPAs) are subtle anatomical deviations which have little functional or aesthetic impact. MPAs in people with bipolar disorder are highly variable, but may include high palate, low-seated ears, cuspidal ear (ears with angled ridges instead of a round curve at the top of the opening into the ear canal), strabismus (cross-eyes), hypertelorism (increased distance between the eyes) and adherent, or attached ear lobes. They may be traced to events occurring prenatally and may represent risk markers for underlying illness susceptibility. MPAs may be important risk indicators when an individual is already at high risk of developing a mental disorder and when multiple MPAs occur together in one individual.

What is the evidence for minor physical anomalies in people with bipolar disorder?

Moderate quality evidence finds more anomalies in the head and facial region of people with bipolar disorder compared to controls, with no differences in peripheral regions.

December 2021

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Last updated at: 5:25 pm, 8th February 2022
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