A Preliminary fMRI Study of Sustained Attention in Euthymic, Unmedicated Bipolar Disorder
ABSTRACT The symptoms of bipolar disorder suggest dysfunction of anterior limbic networks that modulate emotional behavior and that reciprocally interact with dorsal attentional systems. Bipolar patients maintain a constant vulnerability to mood episodes even during euthymia, when symptoms are minimal. Consequently, we predicted that, compared with healthy subjects, bipolar patients would exhibit abnormal activation of regions of the anterior limbic network with corresponding abnormal activation of other cortical areas involved in attentional processing. In all, 10 unmedicated euthymic bipolar patients and 10 group-matched healthy subjects were studied with fMRI while performing the Continuous Performance Task-Identical Pairs version (CPT-IP). fMRI scans were obtained on a 3.0 T Bruker system using an echo planar imaging (EPI) pulse sequence, while subjects performed the CPT-IP and a control condition to contrast group differences in regional brain activation. The euthymic bipolar and healthy subjects performed similarly on the CPT-IP, yet showed significantly different patterns of brain activation. Specifically, bipolar patients exhibited increased activation of limbic, paralimbic, and ventrolateral prefrontal areas, as well as visual associational cortices. Healthy subjects exhibited relatively increased activation in fusiform gyrus and medial prefrontal cortex. In conclusion, these differences suggest that bipolar patients exhibit overactivation of anterior limbic areas with corresponding abnormal activation in visual associational cortical areas, permitting successful performance of an attentional task. Since the differences occurred in euthymia, they may represent trait, rather than state, abnormalities of brain function in bipolar disorder.
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ABSTRACT: G72 (syn. DAOA, D-amino acid oxidase activator) is a susceptibility gene for both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Diffusion tensor imaging studies hint at changes in fiber tract integrity in both disorders. We aimed to investigate whether a G72 susceptibility haplotype causes changes in fiber tract integrity in young healthy subjects. We compared fractional anisotropy in 47 subjects that were either homozygous for the M23/M24 risk haplotype (n = 20) or homozygous for M23(rs3918342)/M24(rs1421292) wild type (n = 27) using diffusion tensor imaging with 3 T. Tract-based spatial statistics, a method especially developed for diffusion data analysis, was used to delineate the major fiber tracts. We found clusters of increased FA values in homozygous risk haplotype carriers in the right periinsular region and in the right inferior parietal lobe (IPL). We did not find clusters indicating decreased FA values. The insula and the IPL have been implicated in both schizophrenia and bipolar pathophysiology. Increased FA values might reflect changes in dendritic morphology as previously described by in vitro studies. These findings further corroborate the hypothesis that a shared gene pool between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder might lead to neuroanatomic changes that confer an unspecific vulnerability for both disorders.European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 07/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00406-014-0516-6
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ABSTRACT: To provide a systematic review of scientific literature on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies on sustained attention in psychosis. We searched PubMed to identify fMRI studies pertaining sustained attention in both affective and non-affective psychosis. Only studies conducted on adult patients using a sustained attention task during fMRI scanning were included in the final review. The search was conducted on September 10(th), 2013. 15 fMRI studies met our inclusion criteria: 12 studies were focused on Schizophrenia and 3 on Bipolar Disorder Type I (BDI). Only half of the Schizophrenia studies and two of the BDI studies reported behavioral abnormalities, but all of them evidenced significant functional differences in brain regions related to the sustained attention system. Altered functioning of the insula was found in both Schizophrenia and BDI, and therefore proposed as a candidate trait marker for psychosis in general. On the other hand, other brain regions were differently impaired in affective and non-affective psychosis: alterations of cingulate cortex and thalamus seemed to be more common in Schizophrenia and amygdala dysfunctions in BDI. Neural correlates of sustained attention seem to be of great interest in the study of psychosis, highlighting differences and similarities between Schizophrenia and BDI.
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ABSTRACT: Bipolar disorder (BD) is a debilitating mental illness associated with high costs to diagnosed individuals and society. Within the past 2 decades, increasing numbers of children and adolescents have been diagnosed as having BD. While functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have begun to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying BD, few have directly compared differences in youths with BD and adults with BD (hereafter BD-youths and BD-adults, respectively).JAMA Psychiatry 08/2014; 71(8):926-35. DOI:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.660