Objectives: Bipolar disorder (BD) is a severe, chronic, affective disorder characterized by recurrent switching between mood states, psychomotor and cognitive symptoms, which can linger in euthymic states as residual symptoms. Hippocampal alterations may play a key role in the neural processing of BD symptoms. However, its dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) remains unclear. Therefore, the present study explores hippocampal dFC in relation to BD symptoms.
Methods: We assessed hippocampus-based dFC coactivation patterns (CAPs) on resting-state fMRI data of 25 euthymic BD patients and 25 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HC).
Results: Bilateral hippocampal dFC with somatomotor networks (SMN) was reduced in BD, compared to HC, while at the same time dFC between the left hippocampus and midcingulo-insular salience system (SN) was higher in BD. Correlational analysis between CAPs and clinical scores revealed that dFC between the bilateral hippocampus and the default-like network (DMN) correlated with depression scores in BD. Furthermore, pathological hyperconnectivity between the default mode network (DMN) and SMN and the frontoparietal network (FPN) was modulated by the same depression scores in BD.
Conclusions: Overall, we observed alterations of large-scale functional brain networks associated with decreased flexibility in cognitive control, salience detection, and emotion processing in BD. Additionally, the present study provides new insights on the neural architecture underlying a self-centered perspective on the environment in BD patients. dFC markers may improve detection, treatment, and follow-up of BD patients and of disabling residual depressive symptoms in particular.
Keywords: biomarkers; bipolar disorder; functional brain imaging; hippocampus; magnetic resonance imaging.
© 2023 The Authors. Brain and Behavior published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.