An fMRI study of the neural correlates of incidental versus directed emotion processing in pediatric bipolar disorder.
ABSTRACT To use functional neuroimaging to probe the affective circuitry dysfunctions underlying disturbances in emotion processing and emotional reactivity in pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD).
Equal numbers of controls (HC) and unmedicated patients with euthymia and PBD were matched for age, sex, race, socioeconomic status, and IQ (n = 10 per group; mean age 14.2 years [SD 2.0 years]). The task consisted of a "directed" emotion processing condition where subjects judged whether emotion in facial expression was positive or negative and an "incidental" condition where subjects judged whether faces expressing similar affect were older or younger than 35 years.
Relative to the directed condition, the incidental condition elicited greater activation in the right amygdala and the right insula, the left middle frontal gyrus, and the left posterior cingulate cortex in patients with PBD, in contrast to the HC that showed greater activation in the right superior frontal gyrus. In both incidental and directed conditions, relative to visual fixation, patients with PBD showed less activation in the right prefrontal cortex (superior, middle, and inferior frontal gyri) and the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex and greater activation in the posterior visual and face-processing regions (i.e., right precuneus/cuneus, fusiform gyrus).
Increased amygdala activation observed in patients with PBD elicited by incidental emotional processing relative to directed emotional processing may indicate more intense automatic emotional reactivity. Furthermore, the right prefrontal systems that are believed to modulate affect seem to be less engaged in patients with PBD regardless of whether the emotion processing is incidental or directed, which may signify reduced top-down control of emotional reactivity in PBD.
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ABSTRACT: Previous neuroimaging studies of youth with bipolar disorder (BD) have identified abnormalities in emotion regulation circuitry. Using data from the Longitudinal Assessment of Manic Symptoms Cohort (a clinical sample recruited for behavioral and emotional dysregulation), we examined the impact of BD and medication on activation in these regions. Functional neuroimaging data were obtained from 15 youth with BD who currently were unmedicated with a mood stabilizer or antipsychotic (U-BD), 19 youth with medicated BD (M-BD), a non-bipolar clinical sample with high rates of disruptive behavioral disorders (non-BD, n = 59), and 29 healthy controls (HC) while they were shown task-irrelevant morphing emotional faces and shapes. Whole brain analysis was used to identify clusters that showed differential activation to emotion vs. shapes across group. To assess pair-wise comparisons and potential confounders, mean activation data were extracted only from clusters within regions previously implicated in emotion regulation (including amygdala and ventral prefrontal regions). A cluster in the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) showed group differences to emotion vs. shapes (159 voxels, corrected p < .05). Within this cluster, U-BD youth showed decreased activation relative to HC (p = .007) and non-BD (p = .004) youth. M-BD also showed decreased activation in this cluster relative to HC and non-BD youth, but these differences were attenuated. Results were specific to negative emotions, and not found with happy faces. IFG findings were not explained by other medications (e.g. stimulants) or diagnoses. Compared to both HC and a non-BD sample, U-BD is associated with abnormally decreased right IFG activation to negative emotions.Journal of Psychiatric Research 08/2014; 58. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2014.07.023 · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objectives: Identifying early markers of brain function among those at high risk (HR) for pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD) could serve as a screening measure when children and ado-lescents present with subsyndromal clinical symptoms prior to the conversion to bipolar disorder. Studies on the offspring of patients with bipolar disorder who are genetically at HR have each been limited in establishing a biomarker, while an analytic review in summarizing the findings offers an improvised opportunity toward that goal. Methods: An activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis of mixed cognitive and emotional activities using the GingerALE software from the BrainMap Project was com-pleted. The meta-analysis of all fMRI studies contained a total of 29 reports and included PBD, HR, and typically developing (TD) groups. Results:The HR group showed significantly greater activation relative to theTD group in the right DLPFC–insular–parietal–cerebellar regions. Similarly, the HR group exhibited greater activity in the right DLPFC and insula as well as the left cerebellum compared to patients with PBD. Patients with PBD, relative to TD, showed greater activation in regions of the right amygdala, parahippocampal gyrus, medial PFC, left ventral striatum, and cerebellum and lower activation in the right VLPFC and the DLPFC. Conclusion: The HR population showed increased activity, presumably indicating greater compensatory deployment, in relation to both the TD and the PBD, in the key cognition and emotion-processing regions, such as the DLPFC, insula, and parietal cortex. In con-trast, patients with PBD, relative to HR and TD, showed decreased activity, which could indicate a decreased effort in multiple PFC regions in addition to widespread subcortical abnormalities, which are suggestive of a more entrenched disease process.Frontiers in Psychiatry 03/2014; 5. DOI:10.3389/fpsyt.2014.00141