A preliminary study of increased amygdala activation to positive affective stimuli in mania

Authors


  • FB has received research funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and a travel grant from Eli Lilly & Co. HH has received a travel grant from Esparma. MS has received research funding from Lundbeck and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. MA has received grant/research support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Pharmacia, Pfizer, Eli Lilly & Co., Janssen-Cilag, and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals; and has received speaker honoraria from AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly & Co., GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi-aventis, and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. AS has received a research grant from Lundbeck; speaker honoraria from Pfizer, Lundbeck, Wyeth, and Eli Lilly & Co.; and has been a consultant for Elbion. AH has received research funding from the German Research Foundation and the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research), Eli Lilly & Co., Janssen-Cilag, and Bristol-Myers Squibb; and has received speaker honoraria from Janssen-Cilag, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly & Co., Pfizer, and Servier. MB has received grant/research support from the Stanley Medical Research Institute, NARSAD, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly & Co., and AstraZeneca; is a consultant for Eli Lilly & Co., GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Servier Deutschland, Wyeth, and Novartis Pharmaceuticals; and has received speaker honoraria from AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly & Co., Lundbeck GmbH, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Sanofi-aventis, and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. UD, TK, BS, RR, CH, FS and JW report no biomedical financial interests or potential conflicts of interest.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Heinz, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité– Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Mitte, Charitéplatz 1, D-10117 Berlin, Germany. Fax: +49-30-450517921; e-mail: andreas.heinz@charite.de

Abstract

Objectives:  The present study in hypomanic and manic patients explored how amygdala responses to affective stimuli depend on the valence of the stimuli presented.

Methods:  We compared 10 patients with 10 matched healthy control subjects. We measured blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) responses in the amygdala while subjects passively viewed photographs taken from the International Affective Picture System. After the fMRI session, subjects saw the pictures again and subjectively rated the emotional valence and intensity of each picture.

Results:  Compared to healthy individuals, hypomanic or manic patients showed higher valence ratings in positive pictures and associated larger BOLD responses in the left amygdala during positive versus neutral picture viewing. This enhanced amygdala activation was correlated with Young Mania Rating Scale scores and with euphoric as opposed to irritable symptom presentation.

Conclusions:  Increased valence ratings and amygdala responses to positive affective stimuli may reflect a positive processing bias contributing to elevated mood states characteristic for euphoric mania.

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