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The functional connectivity between nucleus accumbens and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex as an endophenotype for bipolar disorder

Whittaker, Joseph R., Foley, Sonya F., Ackling, Edward, Murphy, Kevin and Caseras, Xavier 2018. The functional connectivity between nucleus accumbens and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex as an endophenotype for bipolar disorder. Biological Psychiatry 84 (11) , pp. 803-809. 10.1016/j.biopsych.2018.07.023

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Abstract

Background Alterations in functional connectivity between the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and frontal cortices have been previously associated with the presence of psychiatric syndromes, among them bipolar disorder. Whether these alterations are a consequence or a risk factor for mental disorders remains unresolved. Methods This study included 35 bipolar participants, 30 of their resilient siblings, and 23 healthy controls to probe functional connectivity at rest between NAcc and the rest of the brain in a cross-sectional design. BOLD time series at rest from NAcc were used as seed-region in a woxel-wise correlational analysis. The strength of the correlations found were compared across groups after Fisher’s Z transformation. Results Our results showed increased functional connectivity between NAcc and a ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) - comprising mainly the subgenual anterior cingulate - in patients compared to controls. Participants at increased genetic risk but yet resilient – i.e. unaffected siblings - showed functional connectivity values midway between the former two groups. Conclusions Our results are indicative of the potential for the connectivity between NAcc and the vmPFC to represent an endophenotype for bipolar disorder.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Medicine
Physics and Astronomy
Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0006-3223
Funders: Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 August 2018
Date of Acceptance: 25 July 2018
Last Modified: 30 May 2019 20:57
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/114172

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