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Brain Imaging Behav. 2018 Aug 25. doi: 10.1007/s11682-018-9950-9. [Epub ahead of print]

Cortical thickness and subcortical volumes alterations in euthymic bipolar I patients treated with different mood stabilizers.

Li L1,2,3, Ji E2, Han X4,5, Tang F1,3, Bai Y2, Peng D6, Fang Y6, Zhang S7, Zhang Z8,9, Yang H10.

Author information

1
School of Biomedical Engineering, Health Science Center, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China.
2
Department for Affective Disorders, Shenzhen Mental Health Centre, Shenzhen Key Lab for Psychological Healthcare, Shenzhen 518020, China.
3
Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Biomedical Measurements and Ultrasound Imaging, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China.
4
Mental Health Institute of the Second Xiangya Hospital, National Technology Institute of Psychiatry, Key Laboratory of Psychiatry and Mental Health of Hunan Province, Central South University, Changsha 410011, China.
5
Department of Mental Health, Shenzhen Nanshan Center for Chronic Disease Control, Shenzhen 518060, China.
6
Department for Mood Disorders, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200030, China.
7
Department of Communication Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China.
8
School of Biomedical Engineering, Health Science Center, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China. zgzhang@szu.edu.cn.
9
Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Biomedical Measurements and Ultrasound Imaging, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China. zgzhang@szu.edu.cn.
10
Department for Affective Disorders, Shenzhen Mental Health Centre, Shenzhen Key Lab for Psychological Healthcare, Shenzhen 518020, China. robin518020@163.com.

Abstract

Reported structural abnormalities of patients with bipolar disorder (BD) are inconsistent and the use of psychotropic medication is one of the sources of heterogeneity. A fairly small number of morphometric studies have involved comparison of BD on different mood stabilizers. Here in this study, we aimed to investigate the cortical thickness and subcortical volumes in euthymic BD patients on lithium and valproate and healthy controls (HC), and to elucidate the relationship between the use of medication and brain structure variations. We acquired structural magnetic resonance imaging data from 35 BD patients (19/valproate;16/lithium) and 30 HC subjects. Cortical thickness was compared in multiple locations across the continuous cortical surface, and subcortical volumes were compared on a structure-by-structure basis. Group analyses revealed widespread thinning of the prefrontal cortex in BD. Compared with BD on valproate, BD on lithium showed significant increased cortical thickness of the left rostral middle frontal cortex and right superior frontal cortex, while cortical thickness was not significantly different between BD on lithium and HC in the bilateral rostral middle frontal cortex. Moreover, no significant difference was observed in subcortical volume. Limitations of this study comprise the possible effect of other psychotropic drugs, small sample size and the cross-sectional design. Therefore, the results suggest medication-related neurobiological difference between BD patients on different mood stabilizers, but no casual role can be proposed. Our findings provided new evidence about the effects of psychotropic medication upon neuroanatomy in BD, and could help to explain the inconsistency of existing studies as well as contribute to the extraction of reliable neuroimaging biomarkers in BD.

KEYWORDS:

Bipolar disorder; Euthymia; MRI; Mood stabilizers; Prefrontal cortex

PMID:
30145720
DOI:
10.1007/s11682-018-9950-9

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