Voxel based morphometric and diffusion tensor imaging analysis in male bipolar patients with first-episode mania

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Abstract

Objectives

Structural abnormality of both gray and white matter has been detected in patients with bipolar disorder (BD). But results were greatly inconsistent across studies which were most likely attributed to heterogeneous populations as well as processing techniques. The present study aimed to investigate brain structural and microstructural alterations in a relative homogenous sample of bipolar mania.

Methods

3D T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) were conducted in 18 patients with BD and 27 healthy volunteers. Gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) differences were evaluated using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and voxel-based analysis of fractional anisotropy (FA) maps derived from DTI, respectively.

Results

Patients with BD had a larger volume of GM in the left thalamus and bilateral basal ganglia, including the bilateral putamen and extending to the left claustrum, as well as reduced FA values in the left posterior corona radiata.

Conclusions

By combined analysis, alterations in subcortical GM areas and part of the corresponding association fiber area were detected. Compared with observations in homogeneous samples, our findings indicate that disruption of the limbic network may be intrinsic to BD.

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