Children of parents with bipolar disorder (BD), especially those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and symptoms of depression or mania, are at significantly high risk for developing BD. As we have previously shown amygdalar reductions in pediatric BD, the current study examined amygdalar volumes in offspring of parents (BD offspring) who have not yet developed a full manic episode. Youth participating in the study included 22 BD offspring and 22 healthy controls of comparable age, gender, handedness, and IQ. Subjects had no history of a manic episode, but met criteria for ADHD and moderate mood symptoms. MRI was performed on a 3. T GE scanner, using a 3D volumetric spoiled gradient echo series. Amygdalae were manually traced using BrainImage Java software on positionally normalized brain stacks. Bipolar offspring had similar amygdalar volumes compared to the control group. Exploratory analyses yielded no differences in hippocampal or thalamic volumes. Bipolar offspring do not show decreased amygdalar volume, possibly because these abnormalities occur after more prolonged illness rather than as a preexisting risk factor. Longitudinal studies are needed to determine whether amygdalar volumes change during and after the development of BD.
- Bipolar disorder
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Psychiatry and Mental health