Objective: We present a retrospective meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry (VBM) of gray (GM) and white matter (WM) differences between patients with bipolar disorder (BD) and behaviorally healthy controls.
Methods: We used the activation likelihood estimation and Sleuth software for our meta-analysis, considering P-value maps at the cluster level inference of .05 with uncorrected P<.001. Results were visualized with the software MANGO.
Results: We included twenty-five articles in the analysis, and separated the comparisons where BD patients had lower GM or WM concentrations than controls (573 subjects, 21 experiments, and 117 locations/180 subjects, five experiments, and 15 locations, respectively) and the comparisons where BD patients had greater GM concentrations than controls (217 subjects, nine experiments, and 49 locations). Higher WM concentrations in BD patients were not detected. We observed for BD reduced GM concentrations in the left medial frontal gyrus and right inferior/precentral gyri encompassing the insular cortex, and greater GM concentrations in the left putamen. Further, lower WM concentrations were detected in the left inferior longitudinal fasciculus, left superior corona radiata, and left posterior cingulum.
Conclusions: This meta-analysis confirms deterioration of frontal and insular regions as already found in previous meta-analysis. GM reductions in these regions could be related to emotional processing and decision making, which are typically impaired in BD. Moreover, we found abnormalities in precentral frontal areas and putamen that have been linked to more basic functions, which could point to sensory and specific cognitive deficits. Finally, WM reductions involved circuitry that may contribute to emotional dysregulation in BD.
Keywords: bipolar disorder; gray matter; meta-analysis; voxel-based morphometry; white matter.
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.