Although neurobiological mechanisms of bipolar disorder (BD) are still unclear, neural models of the disease have recently been conceptualised thanks to neuroimaging. Indeed, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies investigating structural and functional connectivity between different areas of the brain suggest an altered prefrontal-limbic coupling leading to disrupted emotional processing in BD, including uncinate fasciculus, amygdala, parahippocampal cortex, cingulate cortex as well corpus callosum. Specifically, these models assume an altered prefrontal control over a hyperactivity of the subcortical limbic structures implicated in automatic emotional processing. This impaired mechanism may finally trigger emotional hyper-reactivity and mood episodes. In this review, we first summarised some key neuroimaging studies on BD. In the second part of the work, we focused on the heterogeneity of the available studies. This variability is partly due to methodological factors (i.e., small sample size) and differences among studies (i.e., MRI acquisition and post-processing analyses) and partly to the clinical heterogeneity of BD. We finally outlined how epidemiological studies should indicate which risk factors and clinical dimensions of BD are relevant to be studied with neuroimaging in order to reduce heterogeneity and go beyond diagnostic categories.

Epidemiological and clinical aspects will guide the neuroimaging research in bipolar disorder

PERLINI, Cinzia;
2015

Abstract

Although neurobiological mechanisms of bipolar disorder (BD) are still unclear, neural models of the disease have recently been conceptualised thanks to neuroimaging. Indeed, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies investigating structural and functional connectivity between different areas of the brain suggest an altered prefrontal-limbic coupling leading to disrupted emotional processing in BD, including uncinate fasciculus, amygdala, parahippocampal cortex, cingulate cortex as well corpus callosum. Specifically, these models assume an altered prefrontal control over a hyperactivity of the subcortical limbic structures implicated in automatic emotional processing. This impaired mechanism may finally trigger emotional hyper-reactivity and mood episodes. In this review, we first summarised some key neuroimaging studies on BD. In the second part of the work, we focused on the heterogeneity of the available studies. This variability is partly due to methodological factors (i.e., small sample size) and differences among studies (i.e., MRI acquisition and post-processing analyses) and partly to the clinical heterogeneity of BD. We finally outlined how epidemiological studies should indicate which risk factors and clinical dimensions of BD are relevant to be studied with neuroimaging in order to reduce heterogeneity and go beyond diagnostic categories.
neuroimaging; bipolar disorder; epidemiology
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/879985
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 4
  • Scopus 10
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 9
social impact