An MRI study of subgenual prefrontal cortex in patients with familial and non-familial bipolar I disorder

J Affect Disord. 2003 Nov;77(2):167-71. doi: 10.1016/s0165-0327(02)00109-x.

Abstract

Background: Over the past few years there has been an interest in the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study specific brain regions in bipolar disorder. The present study compared the grey matter volume in the subgenual prefrontal cortex in patients with familial and non-familial bipolar disorder and normal control subjects.

Methods: MRI brain scans were performed on 12 patients with bipolar I disorder including six patients with a positive family history of bipolar disorder as well as eight control subjects.

Results: There was a significant reduction in the grey matter volume in the right subgenual prefrontal cortex, but not in the left subgenual prefrontal cortex. A family history x sex interaction with right prefrontal cortex volume was also observed as a trend. For females, a positive family history was associated with reduced right prefrontal cortex volumes; for males, a positive family history was associated with increased right prefrontal cortex volumes.

Limitations: Small sample size, reduced statistical power.

Conclusion: These data add to the emerging literature on structural changes in the subgenual prefrontal cortex in bipolar disorder, especially in patients with a positive family history.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bipolar Disorder / genetics*
  • Bipolar Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Pedigree
  • Prefrontal Cortex / pathology*
  • Sex Factors