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Changes in corpus callosum area and thickness have been reported in
bipolar disorder. Imaging and limited neuropathological data suggest
possible abnormalities in myelination and/or glial function.
To compare corpus callosum area, thickness and magnetic resonance imaging
(MRI) T1 signal intensity in patients with bipolar disorder and
A total of 48 patients with euthymic bipolar disorder and 46 healthy
controls underwent MRI analysis of callosal midsagittal area, callosal
thickness and T1 signal intensity.
The bipolar group had smaller overall and subregional callosal areas and
correspondingly reduced callosal width than the control group. Age
correlated negatively with callosal area in the control group but not in
the bipolar group. Signal intensity was higher in women than in men in
both groups. Signal intensity was reduced in women, but not in men, in
the bipolar group.
Observed differences probably relate to diagnosis rather than mood state
and bipolar disorder appears to result in morphometric change that
overrides changes seen in normal ageing. Intensity changes are consistent
with possible altered myelination or glial function. A gender-dependent
factor appears to operate and to interact with diagnosis.
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