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White matter microstructural impairments and genetic liability to familial bipolar I disorder

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Christopher A. Chaddock*
Affiliation:
Division of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London
Gareth J. Barker
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London
Nicolette Marshall
Affiliation:
Division of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London
Katja Schulze
Affiliation:
Division of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London
Mei Hua Hall
Affiliation:
Psychology Research Laboratory, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts, USA
Adele Fern
Affiliation:
Division of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London
Muriel Walshe
Affiliation:
Division of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London
Elvira Bramon
Affiliation:
Division of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London
Xavier A. Chitnis
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences, and Department of Biostatistics & Computing, Brain Image Analysis Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London
Robin Murray
Affiliation:
Division of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London
Colm McDonald
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
*
Christopher Chaddock, Department of Psychiatry, PO 63, Division of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. Email: chris.chaddock@iop.kcl.ac.uk
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Abstract

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Background

Subtle abnormalities in frontal white matter have been reported in bipolar disorder.

Aims

To assess whether impaired integrity of white matter tracts is associated with bipolar disorder and genetic liability for the disorder.

Method

A total of 19 patients with psychotic bipolar I disorder from multiply affected families, 21 unaffected first-degree relatives and 18 comparison individuals (controls) underwent diffusion tensor imaging. Whole brain voxel-based analyses compared fractional anisotropy between patients and relatives with controls, and its relationship with a quantitative measure of genetic liability.

Results

Patients had decreased fractional anisotropy compared with controls in the genu of the corpus callosum, right inferior longitudinal fasciculus and left superior longitudinal fasciculus. Increased genetic liability for bipolar disorder was associated with reduced fractional anisotropy across distributed regions of white matter in patients and their unaffected relatives.

Conclusions

Disturbed structural integrity within key intra- and interhemispheric tracts characterises both bipolar disorder and genetic liability for this illness.

Type
Papers
Copyright
Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2009 

Footnotes

C.C is supported by a Medical Research Council (MRC) Studentship. This study was supported by a MRC (UK) Pathfinder Award (C.M.). Additional individual funding included: Guy's & St Thomas' Charitable Foundation Research Studentship (K.S); postdoctoral award from the Department of Health (E.B.); and Taiwanese scholarship at King's College London (M.H.H.).

Declaration of interest

None.

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