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Br J Psychiatry. 2001 Feb;178:172-6.

Cerebral white matter lesions in bipolar affective disorder: relationship to outcome.

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  • 1Tranwell Unit, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Windy Nook Road, Gateshead NE9 6SX, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Twenty per cent of patients with bipolar affective disorder suffer an illness that responds inadequately to treatment and has a poor outcome. Many patients, but not all, with bipolar disorder show white matter abnormalities on T(2)-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

AIMS:

To explore the hypothesis that white matter abnormalities on MRI are seen more frequently in subjects whose illness has a poor outcome compared with those with a good outcome or controls.

METHOD:

Two groups of age- and gender-matched patients with bipolar disorder (14 with a good outcome and 15 with a poor outcome) and 15 controls, aged 20-65 years, were studied. Axial T(2)-weighted MRI scans were examined for the presence and severity of white matter abnormalities.

RESULTS:

Significantly more poor outcome group members had deep subcortical punctate, but not periventricular, white matter hyperintensities than the good outcome group (P:=0.035) or controls (P:=0.003) and these abnormalities were of greater severity (P:=0.030 and P:<0.014, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

Subcortical white matter lesions are associated with poor outcome bipolar disorder.

PMID:
11157432
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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