Cortical thickness in symptomatic and asymptomatic bipolar offspring
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Children of parents diagnosed with bipolar disorder are at greater risk for developing a variety of psychiatric disorders, however, the reasons remain unknown. The present study aimed to investigate gray matter integrity in high-risk bipolar offspring (HRO) and healthy offspring (HCO) using cortical thickness techniques. Here we examined healthy control offspring (HCO; n=20) and HRO with (n=17) or without (n=13) psychiatric symptoms. T1-weighted images were collected from all offspring, and cortical thickness and age-cortical thickness correlations were compared. HRO showed cortical thinning in superior and inferior temporal regions, supramarginal, and caudal and rostral middle frontal regions compared to HCO. When comparing HRO with and without psychiatric symptoms, we found cortical thinning in symptomatic offspring in the superior frontal and somatosensory related cortices. Age-thickness correlations showed a relatively consistent negative relationship in most regions in HCO, while the reverse was true for the HRO. These regions included parahippocampal, lateral orbitofrontal, and inferior temporal regions. Our study provides evidence of cortical thickness reductions among symptomatic and asymptomatic high-risk offspring during youth. Some of these alterations, found in regions of emotion processing and regulation, are evident only when associated with the presence of psychiatric symptoms.
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