UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Bipolar Disorder; Child; Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy; Energy Metabolism; Mitochondria


Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


BACKGROUND: Research exploring Bipolar Disorder (BD) phenotypes and mitochondrial dysfunction, particularly in younger subjects, has been insufficient to date. Previous studies have found abnormal cerebral pH levels in adults with BD, which may be directly linked to abnormal mitochondrial activity. To date no such studies have been reported in children with BD.

METHODS: Phosphorus Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy ((31)P MRS) was used to determine pH, phopshocreatine (PCr) and inorganic phosphate (Pi) levels in 8 subjects with BD and 8 healthy comparison subjects (HCS) ages 11 to 20 years old.

RESULTS: There was no significant difference in pH between the patients and HCS. However, frontal pH values for patients with BD increased with age, contrary to studies of HCS and the pH values in the frontal lobe correlated negatively with the YMRS values. Global Pi was significantly lower in subjects with BD compared with HCS. There were no significant differences in PCr between the groups. Global PCr-to-Pi ratio (PCr/Pi) was significantly higher in subjects with BD compared with HCS.

CONCLUSIONS: The change in Pi levels for the patients with BD coupled with the no difference in PCr levels, suggest an altered mitochondrial phosphorylation. However, our findings require further investigation of the underlying mechanisms with the notion that a mitochondrial dysfunction may manifest itself differently in children than that in adults.

LIMITATIONS: Further investigations with larger patient populations are necessary to draw further conclusions.

Rights and Permissions

Copyright: Sikoglu et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

DOI of Published Version



PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54536. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054536. Epub 2013 Jan 30. Link to article on publisher's site

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PloS one

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