Developmental abnormalities in striatum in young bipolar patients: a preliminary study

Authors

  • Marsal Sanches,

    1. Division of Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
    2. South Texas Veterans Health Care System, Audie L. Murphy Division, San Antonio, TX, USA
    3. Department of Psychiatry, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo
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  • Roxsann L Roberts,

    1. Division of Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
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  • Roberto B Sassi,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine, Sao Paulo, Brazil
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  • David Axelson,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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  • Mark Nicoletti,

    1. Division of Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
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  • Paolo Brambilla,

    1. Section of Psychiatry, Department of Pathology and Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Udine, Udine, Italy
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  • John P Hatch,

    1. Division of Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
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  • Matcheri S Keshavan,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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  • Neal D Ryan,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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  • Boris Birmaher,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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  • Jair C Soares

    1. Division of Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
    2. South Texas Veterans Health Care System, Audie L. Murphy Division, San Antonio, TX, USA
    3. Department of Radiology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA
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  • The authors certify that they do not have any commercial associations that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with this manuscript.

Jair C Soares, MD, Division of Mood and Anxiety Disorders, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA.
Fax: +210 567 3759;
e-mail: soares@uthscsa.edu

Abstract

Objectives:  Anatomical abnormalities in the basal ganglia of adult mood disorder patients have been reported. To investigate whether these abnormalities are present early in illness course, we compared the volume of striatal structures in young bipolar patients and healthy controls.

Methods:  Brain magnetic resonance images of 15 children and adolescents who met DSM-IV criteria for bipolar disorders and 21 healthy controls were obtained. Measurements were performed manually, by trained evaluators, who were blind to subjects’ diagnosis. The volumes of caudate and putamen were compared in patients and controls.

Results:  The volumes of striatal structures were not significantly different in patients and controls (ANCOVA, p > 0.05). However, we found a significant inverse relationship between age and the volumes of left caudate (r = −0.72, p < 0.01), right caudate (r = −0.66, p = 0.02) and left putamen (r = −0.71, p = 0.01) in bipolar patients, not present in healthy controls.

Conclusions:  Abnormalities in striatal development may be involved in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder.

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