Background: Analyzing cortical folding may provide insight into the biological underpinnings of neurodevelopmental diseases. A neurodevelopmental subtype of bipolar disorders (BD-ND) has been characterized by the combination of early age of onset and psychotic features. We investigate potential cortical morphology differences associated with this subtype. We analyze, for the first time in bipolar disorders, the sulcal pits, the deepest points in each fold of the cerebral cortex. Methods: We extracted the sulcal pits from anatomical MRI among 512 participants gathered from 7 scanning sites. We compared the number of sulcal pits in each hemisphere as well as their regional occurrence and depth between the BD-ND subgroup (N = 184), a subgroup without neurodevelopmental features (BD, N = 77) and a group of healthy controls (HC, N = 251). Results: In whole brain analysis, BD-ND group have a higher number of sulcal pits in comparison to the BD group. The local analysis revealed, after correction for multiple testing, a higher occurrence of sulcal pits in the left premotor cortex among the BD-ND subgroup compared to the BD and the HC groups. Conclusion: Our findings confirm that BD-ND is associated with a specific brain morphology revealed by the analysis of sulcal pits. These markers may help to better understand neurodevelopment in mood disorder and stratify patients according to a pathophysiological hypothesis.
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