Combined diffusion tensor imaging and transverse relaxometry in early-onset bipolar disorder

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Bipolar Disorder; Diffusion Tensor Imaging; Membrane Fluidity




OBJECTIVE: Transverse relaxation time (T2) imaging provides the opportunity to examine membrane fluidity, which can affect a number of cellular functions. The objective of the present work was to examine T2 abnormalities in children with unmodified DSM-IV-TR bipolar disorder (BD) in bilateral cingulate-paracingulate (CPC) white matter.

METHOD: A total of 21 children and adolescents with BD and 16 healthy control subjects underwent magnetic resonance imaging at 1.5 Tesla and were compared using a region-of-interest analysis. A post hoc diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) analysis was also performed on selected subjects.

RESULTS: The T2 values were significantly decreased on the right-side of the subjects with BD compared with that of the control subjects. Hemispheric difference was also observed in the BD group, with decreased T2 on the right side compared with the left side. No significant difference was observed between left and right CPC T2 in control subjects. For participants who had both T2 and DTI measurements, significant DTI differences were observed: On the left side, fractional anisotropy was reduced and trace and radial diffusivity were increased, whereas on the right side, trace was increased and T2 was decreased in subjects with BD compared with control subjects.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the observed T2 difference is a reflection of cerebral blood flow rather than an alteration of the fluidity of cell membranes. It is possible that myelin damage occurs on the left side in early-onset BD, in addition to changes in the blood flow. Prospective studies with larger numbers of subjects are warranted to further explore the relevance of the presented results. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

DOI of Published Version



J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2010 Dec;49(12):1260-8. Epub 2010 Oct 29. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID