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Anterior cingulate cortex abnormalities associated with a first psychotic episode in bipolar disorder

  • Alex Fornito (a1), Murat Yücel (a2), Stephen J. Wood (a3), Andreas Bechdolf (a4), Simon Carter (a5), Chris Adamson (a6), Dennis Velakoulis (a3), Michael M. Saling (a7), Patrick D. McGorry (a5) and Christos Pantelis (a8)...

Abstract

Background

The anterior cingulate cortex is frequently implicated in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder, but magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have reported variable findings owing to a reliance on patient samples with chronic illness and to limited appreciation of the region's heterogeneity.

Aims

To characterise anterior cingulate cortex abnormalities in patients with bipolar disorder experiencing their first episode of psychosis while accounting for regional anatomical variability.

Method

Grey matter volume, surface area and cortical thickness were measured in six anterior cingulate cortex subregions per hemisphere using MRI scans acquired from 26 patients with bipolar I disorder experiencing first-episode psychosis and 26 healthy controls matched for age, gender and regional morphological variability.

Results

Relative to controls, male patients displayed increased thickness in the right subcallosal limbic anterior cingulate cortex. No significant differences were identified in females for grey matter volume or surface area measures. The findings were not attributable to medication effects.

Conclusions

These data suggest that first-episode psychosis in bipolar disorder is associated with a gender-specific, right-lateralised thickness increase in anterior cingulate cortex subregions known to play a role in regulating physiological stress responses.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr Alex Fornito, Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, Levels 2 and 3, National Neuroscience Facility, 161 Barry Street, Carlton South, VIC 3053, Australia. Email: fornitoa@unimelb.edu.au

Footnotes

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This research was supported by the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre (Sunshine Hospital), Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne; the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (ID 236175; 350241); and the Ian Potter Foundation. Neuroimaging analysis was facilitated by the Neuropsychiatry Imaging Laboratory managed by Ms Bridget Soulsby at the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre and supported by Neurosciences Victoria. S.J.W. was supported by a NHMRC Clinical Career Development Award and a NARSAD Young Investigator Award. A.F. was supported by a JN Peters Fellowship and a NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowship (ID 454797).

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes

References

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Anterior cingulate cortex abnormalities associated with a first psychotic episode in bipolar disorder

  • Alex Fornito (a1), Murat Yücel (a2), Stephen J. Wood (a3), Andreas Bechdolf (a4), Simon Carter (a5), Chris Adamson (a6), Dennis Velakoulis (a3), Michael M. Saling (a7), Patrick D. McGorry (a5) and Christos Pantelis (a8)...

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Anterior cingulate cortex abnormalities associated with a first psychotic episode in bipolar disorder

  • Alex Fornito (a1), Murat Yücel (a2), Stephen J. Wood (a3), Andreas Bechdolf (a4), Simon Carter (a5), Chris Adamson (a6), Dennis Velakoulis (a3), Michael M. Saling (a7), Patrick D. McGorry (a5) and Christos Pantelis (a8)...
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