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Psychiatry Res. 2011 Oct 31;194(1):14-20. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2011.06.008. Epub 2011 Aug 27.

Striatal volumes in pediatric bipolar patients with and without comorbid ADHD.

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Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO, USA.


The most prevalent comorbid disorder in pediatric bipolar disorder (BD) is attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As caudate volume abnormalities have been demonstrated in both BD and ADHD, this study sought to determine whether these findings could be attributed to separable effects from either diagnosis. High resolution anatomical magnetic resonance (MRI) images were obtained from youth in 4 groups: BD with comorbid ADHD (n=17), BD without comorbid ADHD (n=12), youth with ADHD alone (n=11), and healthy control subjects (n=24). Caudate, putamen, and globus pallidus volumes were manually traced for each subject using BrainImageJava software by a reliable rater blinded to diagnosis. There was a significant effect of diagnosis on striatal volumes, with ADHD associated with decreased caudate and putamen volumes, and BD associated with increased caudate, putamen, and globus pallidus volumes. Thus, the presence or absence of comorbid ADHD in patients with BD was associated with distinct alterations in caudate volumes, suggesting that these groups have different, but related, mechanisms of neuropathology.

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