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Neuroimage. 2006 Jan 1;29(1):172-84. Epub 2005 Aug 25.

Frontal lobe function in bipolar disorder: a multichannel near-infrared spectroscopy study.

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Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, 3-39-22 Showa-machi, Maebashi-shi, Gunma 371-8511, Japan.


Frontal lobe dysfunction has been implicated as one of the pathophysiological bases of bipolar disorder. Detailed time courses of brain activation in the bipolar disorder group were investigated using multichannel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), a recently developed functional neuroimaging technology with a high time resolution, and were compared with those in the major depression and healthy control groups. Seventeen patients with bipolar disorder, 11 equally depressed patients with major depression, and 17 healthy controls participated in the study. Changes in oxy hemoglobin concentration ([oxy-Hb]) during cognitive and motor tasks were monitored using frontal and temporal probes of two sets of 24-channel NIRS machines. [oxy-Hb] increases in the bipolar disorder group were smaller than those in the healthy control group during the early period of a verbal fluency task, larger than those in the major depression and healthy control groups during the late period of this task, and were smaller than those in the major depression group during a finger-tapping task. Depressive symptoms and antidepressant dosages did not correlate with [oxy-Hb] changes in the two patient groups. Bipolar disorder and major depression were characterized by preserved but delayed and reduced frontal lobe activations, respectively, in the present high-time-resolution study by multichannel NIRS.

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