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Fronto-amygdala resting state functional dysconnectivity is associated with age in bipolar disorder

Monday, September 22, 2014 — Poster Session I

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

FAES Academic Center



* FARE Award Winner


  • S. Lever
  • D. Hsu
  • J. Stoddard
  • M.A. Brotman
  • M. Ernst
  • D.S. Pine
  • E. Leibenluft
  • D. Dicktein


Background: Amygdala resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) is abnormal in bipolar disorder (BD) and may be a pathophysiological marker of illness. Researchers have not explored differences in RSFC as it relates to development in adult and pediatric BD patients. Here, we examine connectivity in pediatric and adult BD patients and healthy volunteers (HV). Methods: RSFC functional magnetic resonance images were obtained from 172 participants (9-56 years old) including 37 BD patients (mean age=26.2, SD=13.3) and 135 HV subjects (mean age=21.3, SD=10.1). Whole brain connectivity maps to a left basolateral amygdala seed were tested for linear and quadratic associations between group and age. Voxelwise threshold was p=0.005, cluster corrected for multiple testing at α=0.05. Results: The linear relationship between age and amygdala-medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) RSFC differed in BD vs. HV (peak difference at x,y,z=-6, 60, 12; k=43; b=0.005, SE=0.002, p=0.025, R2=0.05). Amygdala-mPFC hyperconnectivity was present in younger BD participants, decreasing with age. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that abnormal amygdala-mPFC RSFC in BD may be modulated by age-related phenomenon such as course of illness, number of episodes, or medication burden. Future imaging studies should examine amygdala-mPFC RSFC longitudinally to understand its relation development and course of illness in BD.

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