An estimated 4-6 % of people throughout the world are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Southern Methodist University (SMU) is conducting a research study to help those affected by bipolar disorder learn to detect and ultimately manage mania through observing changes in the eyes. Please read this homepage fully for information on the study. You only have to read the information once! There is also a consent form to read before you can anonymously sign in below to submit your pictures.
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Bipolar disorder is a genetic illness that affects a person’s ability to self-regulate their mood. Episodes of mania and depression, along with anxiety, irritation, focus problems, and psychosis are common. This study seeks to show that mania can be recognized through measurable changes in the eyes. Manic episodes are difficult to manage because, for many people, there is an inherent lack of insight into what signifies the beginning and end of the episode and physiological triggers are sometimes hard to be aware of immediately. Specific eye patterns that show mania could be used to help a person in a manic episode recognize the need for help and accept treatment. Pointing out physical changes to the body reinforces the idea that bipolar disorder has physiological underpinnings and removes the stigma that bipolar is "simply an emotional problem."
The first objective of the study is to create an anonymous database of pictures of the eyes of people in a manic episode. The research team will then use this information to create an algorithm (think of this like creating an app) to determine if eyes in an image can be automatically classified as manic or not. If the algorithm can identify mania in the eyes, mania identification can become computerized and used by people with bipolar disorder, caregivers, and healthcare professionals to determine when individuals with bipolar disorder are experiencing manic episodes. The ultimate goal is to determine if mania in bipolar disorder is part of an illness that can be measured by physical characteristics.