Anatomical measurements of the orbitofrontal cortex in child and adolescent patients with bipolar disorder
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Imaging studies indicate smaller orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) volume in mood disorder patients compared with healthy subjects. We sought to determine whether child and adolescent patients with bipolar disorder have smaller OFC volumes than healthy controls. Fourteen children and adolescents meeting DSM-IV criteria for bipolar disorder (six males and eight females with a mean age+/-S.D.=15.5+/-3.2 years) and 20 healthy controls (11 males and nine females with mean age+/-S.D.=16.9+/-3.8 years) were studied. Orbitofrontal cortex volume was measured using magnetic resonance imaging. Male bipolar patients had smaller gray matter volumes in medial (p=0.044), right medial (0.037) and right (p=0.032) lateral OFC subdivisions compared to male controls. In contrast, female patients had larger gray matter volumes in left (p=0.03), lateral (p=0.012), left lateral (p=0.007), and trends for larger volumes in right lateral and left medial OFC subdivisions compared with female controls. Male patients exhibit smaller gray matter volumes, while female patients exhibit larger volumes in some OFC sub-regions. Gender differences in OFC abnormalities may be involved in illness pathophysiology among young bipolar patients.
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