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Association between age of disease-onset, cognitive performance and cortical thickness in bipolar disorders

Oertel-Knöchel, Viola, Reuter, Johanna, Reinke, Britta, Marbach, Katharina, Feddern, Richard, Alves, Gilberto, Prvulovic, David, Linden, David Edmund Johannes and Knöchel, Christian 2015. Association between age of disease-onset, cognitive performance and cortical thickness in bipolar disorders. Journal of affective disorders 174 , pp. 627-635. 10.1016/j.jad.2014.10.060

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Objectives Neuroimaging studies in patients with bipolar disorder (BD) have indicated a number of structural brain changes, including reduced cortical thickness. However, the effects of the course of illness, clinical and cognitive variables on cortical thickness in BD patients have not yet been evaluated. Methods A total of 67 individuals (32 patients with euthymic BD and 35 healthy and age-matched controls) underwent 3D-anatomical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Whole-brain cortical thickness and group differences were assessed using the Freesurfer software. Course of disease variables, clinical and cognitive parameters were correlated with cortical thickness measures. Results We found reduced cortical thickness in BD patients compared with controls in the frontal and temporal lobes and in several limbic areas. We also report significant associations between cortical thickness and age of disease-onset, speed of cognitive processing, executive function and depression severity in BD patients. Conclusions Cortical thickness reduction across frontal and limbic areas is a structural correlate of affective symptom severity and cognitive impairments in BD as well of age of disease-onset. We may assume that frontal lobe structural abnormalities are present in bipolar disorder, and might lead to dysfunctional cognitive functioning. The causality and functional relevance beyond mere correlation, however, is yet to be established. Our findings encourage further longitudinal studies in BD patients and in healthy at-risk subjects in order to discern the temporal order and development of morphological changes and clinical symptoms.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cortical thickness, Bipolar, Cognitive functioning, MRI
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0165-0327
Date of Acceptance: 31 October 2014
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2019 08:42

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