Anterior genu corpus callosum and impulsivity in suicidal patients with bipolar disorder

Koji Matsuo, Niels Nielsen, Mark A. Nicoletti, John P. Hatch, E. Serap Monkul, Yoshifumi Watanabe, Giovana B. Zunta-Soares, Fabiano G. Nery, Jair C. Soares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Suicidality is a life-threatening symptom in patients with bipolar disorder (BD). Impulsivity and mood instability are associated with suicidality in mood disorders. Evidence suggests that gray and white matter abnormalities are linked with impulsivity in mood disorders, but little is known about the association between corpus callosum (CC) and impulsivity in BD. We examined the relationship between CC areas, impulsivity and suicidality in BD patients. We studied 10 female BD patients with a history of suicide attempt (mean ± SD age 36.2 ± 10.1 years), 10 female BD patients without suicide attempt history (44.2 ± 12.5 years) and 27 female healthy subjects (36.9 ± 13.8 years). Impulsivity was evaluated by the Barratt Impulsivity Scale (BIS). We traced MR images to measure the areas of the CC genu, anterior body, posterior body, isthmus and splenium. The genu was divided into anterior, middle and posterior regions. The suicidal and non-suicidal BD patients had significantly higher BIS total, attention and non-planning scores than the healthy subjects (ps < 0.01), and the suicidal BD patients had significantly higher BIS motor scores than the non-suicidal BD and healthy subjects (ps < 0.01). There were no significant differences among the three groups on any regional CC areas, although the suicidal BD patients had the smallest areas. The suicidal BD patients showed a significant inverse correlation between anterior genu area and the BIS total (r = -0.75, p = 0.04), motor (r = -0.79, p = 0.02) and non-planning scores (r = -0.79, p = 0.02). These correlations were not found in the non-suicidal BD patients or healthy subjects. The results suggest that the anterior medial frontal region may be involved in the pathophysiology of impulsive and suicidal behaviors in BD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-80
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 18 2010


  • Anterior medial frontal
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Corpus callosum
  • Genu
  • Impulsivity
  • Suicidality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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