Cerebral metabolic rates for glucose were examined in patients with unipolar depression (N = 11), bipolar depression (N = 5), mania (N = 5), bipolar mixed states (N = 3), and in normal controls (N = 9) using positron emission tomography and fluorodeoxyglucose F 18. All subjects were studied supine under ambient room conditions with eyes open. Bipolar depressed and mixed patients had supratentorial whole brain glucose metabolic rates that were significantly lower than those of the other comparison groups. The whole brain metabolic rates for patients with bipolar depression increased going from depression or a mixed state to a euthymic or manic state. Patients with unipolar depression showed a significantly lower ratio of the metabolic rate of the caudate nucleus, divided by that of the hemisphere as a whole, when compared with normal controls and patients with bipolar depression.