Louise Emsell1,2, Wim Van Hecke3,4, Camilla Langan1, Gareth Barker5, Alexander Leemans6, Stefan Sunaert3, Peter McCarthy1, Rachel Skinner1, Dara M. Cannon1, Colm McDonald1
1NUI Galway, Galway, Co. Galway, Ireland; 2Developmental & Functional Brain Imaging, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; 3Dept of Radiology, University Hospital Leuven, Belgium; 4University of Antwerp, Belgium; 5Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom; 6Imaging Sciences Institute, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
This study sought to identify trait related white matter microstructural abnormalities in 35 prospectively confirmed euthymic bipolar I disorder patients compared to 44 control subjects in a diffusion tensor imaging voxel-based analysis. The results reveal bilateral reductions in fractional anisotropy in the posterior cingulum, callosal splenium, corticospinal tract and cerebellum in patients, with no increases in FA. Illness duration was associated with FA increase in the posterior limb of the internal capsule, however there appeared to be no effect of lithium status on FA. Subtle WM alterations may be present in BD in remission and predispose to illness episodes.