Convergent evidence implicates white matter abnormalities in bipolar disorder. The cingulum is an important candidate structure for study in bipolar disorder as it provides substantial white matter connections within the corticolimbic neural system that subserves emotional regulation involved in the disorder.
To test the hypothesis that bipolar disorder is associated with abnormal white matter integrity in the cingulum.
Fractional anisotropy in the anterior and posterior cingulum was compared between 42 participants with bipolar disorder and 42 healthy participants using diffusion tensor imaging.
Fractional anisotropy was significantly decreased in the anterior cingulum in the bipolar disorder group compared with the healthy group (P=0.003); however, fractional anisotropy in the posterior cingulum did not differ significantly between groups.
Our findings demonstrate abnormalities in the structural integrity of the anterior cingulum in bipolar disorder. They extend evidence that supports involvement of the neural system comprising the anterior cingulate cortex and its corticolimbic gray matter connection sites in bipolar disorder to implicate abnormalities in the white matter connections within the system provided by the cingulum.
Declaration of interest
H.P.B. has been consultant to Pfizer Inc. and has received honoraria from Eli Lilly and Abbott Laboratories.