Association of Neuroimaging Measures of Emotion Processing and Regulation Neural Circuitries With Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder in Offspring at Risk for Bipolar Disorder.
ABSTRACT: Importance:Bipolar disorder (BD) is difficult to distinguish from other psychiatric disorders. Neuroimaging studies can identify objective markers of BD risk. Objective:To identify neuroimaging measures in emotion processing and regulation neural circuitries and their associations with symptoms specific to youth at risk for BD. Design, Setting, and Participants:This cross-sectional (August 1, 2011, to July 31, 2017) and longitudinal (February 1, 2013, to November 30, 2017) neuroimaging study performed at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center compared a sample of 31 offspring of parents with BD (OBP) with 28 offspring of comparison parents with non-BD psychopathologies (OCP) and 21 offspring of healthy parents (OHP); OBP, OCP, and OHP were recruited from the Bipolar Offspring Study and the Longitudinal Assessment of Manic Symptoms Study. Main Outcomes and Measures:Group differences in activity and functional connectivity during emotional face processing and n-back task performance in amygdala, dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal cortices (PFC), caudal anterior cingulate cortices (cACC), and rostral anterior cingulate cortices (rACC) neuroimaging measures showing between-group differences and symptom severity (anxiety, affective lability, depression, mania). We hypothesized that elevated amygdala activity and/or lower PFC activity and abnormal amygdala to PFC functional connectivity would distinguish OBP from OCP and OHP, and magnitudes of these abnormalities would positively correlate with elevated symptom severity. We explored associations between changes in neuroimaging and symptom measures over follow-up (mean [SD], 2.9 [1.4] years) in a subset of participants (n?=?30). Results:Eighty participants were included (mean [SD] age, 14.2 (2.1) years; 35 female). Twelve neuroimaging measures explained 51% of the variance in the results of neuroimaging measures overall. Of the 12, 9 showed significant main associations of the group; however, after post hoc analyses and Bonferroni corrections, only 7 showed statistically significant associations between groups (corrected P?
Project description:BACKGROUND:Early detection of Bipolar Disorder (BD) is critical for targeting interventions to delay or prevent illness onset. Yet, the absence of objective BD biomarkers makes accurately identifying at-risk youth difficult. In this study, we examined how relationships between white matter tract (WMT) structure and activity in emotion processing neural circuitry differentiate youth at risk for BD from youth at risk for other psychiatric disorders. METHODS:Offspring (ages 8-17) of parents with BD (OBP, n?=?32), offspring of comparison parents with non-BD psychopathology (OCP, n?=?30), and offspring of healthy parents (OHP, n?=?24) underwent diffusion tensor and functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing an emotional face processing task. Penalized and multiple regression analyses included GROUP(OBP,OCP)xWMT interactions as main independent variables, and emotion processing activity as dependent variables, to determine significant group differences in WMT-activity relationships. RESULTS:8 GROUPxWMT interaction variables contributed to 16.5% of the variance in amygdala and prefrontal cortical activity to happy faces. Of these, significant group differences in slopes (inverse for OBP, positive for OCP) existed for the relationship between forceps minor radial diffusivity and rostral anterior cingulate activity (p?=?0.014). Slopes remained significantly different in unmedicated youth without psychiatric disorders (p?=?0.017) and were moderated by affective lability symptoms (F(1,29)?=?5.566, p?=?0.036). LIMITATIONS:Relatively small sample sizes were included. CONCLUSIONS:Forceps minor radial diffusivity-rostral anterior cingulate activity relationships may reflect underlying neuropathological processes that contribute to affectively labile youth at risk for BD and may help differentiate them from youth at risk for other psychiatric disorders.
Project description:Offspring of parents with bipolar disorder (OBP) are at increased risk to develop bipolar disorder (BD). Alterations in resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) have been identified in OBP; however, replication has been limited and correlation with person-level risk is unknown. A recent study found reduced rsFC between left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and clusters in the left insula (LINS), lentiform nucleus (LENT), and midcingulate cortex (MCING) in OBP (Roberts et al. 2017); here, we aim to extend these findings to at-risk youth. We scanned a subset of the Pittsburgh Bipolar Offspring Study, a longitudinal study of OBP and community controls. Twenty-four OBP, 20 offspring of control parents with non-bipolar psychopathology (OCP), and 27 healthy controls (HC) had acceptable rsFC data. After preprocessing steps, we assessed group differences in seed-based rsFC between the IFG and target clusters (LINS, LENT, MCING) using multivariate regression. Next, we tested whether rsFC correlated with person-level risk score and with other dimensional measures. We did not find group differences in rsFC between IFG and target regions. Within OBP, risk score negatively correlated with IFG-LINS rsFC (p?= 0.002). Across groups, mood lability correlated negatively with rsFC between IFG and target regions (p?=?0.0002), due to negative correlation with IFG-LINS (p?=?0.0003) and IFG-MCING (p?=?0.001) rsFC. While group-level differences were not replicated, IFG-LINS rsFC was negatively correlated with a person-level risk score in OBP and with mood lability (a predictor of BD) across the sample. Thus, IFG-LINS rsFC might constitute a risk marker, within OBP, for the development of BD.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Altered reward circuitry function is observed in individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) and their unaffected offspring (OBP). While OBP are at elevated risk for BD, modifiable risk factors that may exacerbate neural vulnerabilities in OBP remain under-characterized. As sleep loss is strongly linked to mania in BD, this study tested associations between sleep duration, reward circuitry function, and mood dysregulation in OBP. METHODS:Two groups of youth unaffected with BD (9-17yr) completed a number-guessing fMRI reward paradigm: 25 OBP and 21 age-sex-IQ-matched offspring of control parents with non-BD psychopathology (OCP), to differentiate risk for BD from risk for psychopathology more broadly. Regressions tested effects of group status, self-reported past-week sleep duration, and their interaction on neural activity and bilateral ventral striatum (VS) functional connectivity to win>control. Correlations with parent-reported mood dysregulation were assessed. RESULTS:Group effects were observed for right posterior insula activity (OCP>OBP) and VS-left posterior insula connectivity (OBP>OCP). Group?sleep duration interactions were observed for left dorsal anterior-mid-cingulate (daMCC) activity and VS-left anterior insula/ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) connectivity. Specifically, sleep duration and daMCC activity were positively related in OBP, but negatively related in OCP and sleep duration and VS-left anterior insula/VLPFC connectivity were negatively related in OBP, but positively in OCP. Additionally, increased VS-left posterior insula connectivity and VS-left anterior insula/VLPFC connectivity were associated with greater mood dysregulation in OBP only. LIMITATIONS:Cross-sectional design and small sample size. CONCLUSIONS:Altered reward-related VS-insula connectivity could represent a neural pathway underpinning mood dysregulation in OBP, and may be modulated by shortened sleep duration.
Project description:Bipolar disorder (BD) is a devastating disorder with a strong genetic component. While the frontolimbic profile of individuals suffering from BD is relatively well-established, there is still disagreement over the neuroanatomical features of unaffected BD offspring.Brain volumetric measures were obtained for 82 children and adolescents including 18 unaffected BD offspring (10.50 ± 3.37 years), 19 BD offspring suffering from psychiatric disorders (12.87 ± 3.28 years) and 45 healthy controls (HC-10.50 ± 3.37 years). Clinical diagnoses were established according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) criteria. Cortical reconstruction and volumetric segmentation were performed with the Freesurfer image analysis suite. Profile analyses compared frontolimbic volumes across groups. Age, gender, testing site, ethnicity and intracranial volume were entered as covariates.The right amygdala was significantly larger in unaffected BD offspring compared to BD offspring with psychiatric disorders and HC. Volumes of striatal, hippocampal, cingulate, and temporal regions were comparable across groups.The size of the amygdala may be a marker of disease susceptibility in offspring of BD parents. Longitudinal studies are needed to examine rates of conversion to BD as related to specific pre-morbid brain abnormalities.
Project description:This study aimed to identify neuroimaging measures associated with risk for, or protection against, bipolar disorder by comparing youth offspring of parents with bipolar disorder versus youth offspring of non-bipolar parents versus offspring of healthy parents in (i) the magnitude of activation within emotional face processing circuitry; and (ii) functional connectivity between this circuitry and frontal emotion regulation regions. The study was conducted at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre. Participants included 29 offspring of parents with bipolar disorder (mean age = 13.8 years; 14 females), 29 offspring of non-bipolar parents (mean age = 13.8 years; 12 females) and 23 healthy controls (mean age = 13.7 years; 11 females). Participants were scanned during implicit processing of emerging happy, sad, fearful and angry faces and shapes. The activation analyses revealed greater right amygdala activation to emotional faces versus shapes in offspring of parents with bipolar disorder and offspring of non-bipolar parents than healthy controls. Given that abnormally increased amygdala activation during emotion processing characterized offspring of both patient groups, and that abnormally increased amygdala activation has often been reported in individuals with already developed bipolar disorder and those with major depressive disorder, these neuroimaging findings may represent markers of increased risk for affective disorders in general. The analysis of psychophysiological interaction revealed that offspring of parents with bipolar disorder showed significantly more negative right amygdala-anterior cingulate cortex functional connectivity to emotional faces versus shapes, but significantly more positive right amygdala-left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex functional connectivity to happy faces (all P-values corrected for multiple tests) than offspring of non-bipolar parents and healthy controls. Taken together with findings of increased amygdala-ventrolateral prefrontal cortex functional connectivity, and decreased amygdala-anterior cingulate cortex functional connectivity previously shown in individuals with bipolar disorder, these connectivity patterns in offspring of parents with bipolar disorder may be risk markers for, rather than markers conferring protection against, bipolar disorder in youth. The patterns of activation and functional connectivity remained unchanged after removing medicated participants and those with current psychopathology from analyses. This is the first study to demonstrate that abnormal functional connectivity patterns within face emotion processing circuitry distinguish offspring of parents with bipolar disorder from those of non-bipolar parents and healthy controls.
Project description:A recently developed risk calculator for bipolar disorder (BD) accounts for clinical and parental psychopathology. Yet, it is understood that both familial predisposition and early life adversity contribute to the development of BD. How the interplay between these two factors influence emotion and reward processing networks in youth at risk for BD remains unclear. In this exploratory analysis, offspring of BD parents performed emotion and reward processing tasks while undergoing a fMRI scan. Risk calculator score was used to assess risk for developing BD in the next 5 years. Environmental risk was tabulated using the Stressful Life Events Schedule (SLES). Emotion and reward processing networks were investigated for genetic and/or environment interactions. Interaction effects were found between risk calculator scores, negative SLES score and activity in right amygdala and bilateral fusiform gyri during the emotion processing task, as well as activity in the fronto-, striatal, and parietal regions during the reward processing task. Our findings are preliminary; however, they support the unique and interactive contributions of both familial and environmental risk factors on emotion and reward processing within OBP. They also identify potential neural targets to guide development of interventions for youth at greatest risk for psychiatric disorders.
Project description:Offspring of parents with bipolar disorder (BD) (BO) are at higher risk of BD than offspring of parents with non-BD psychopathology (NBO), although both groups are at higher risk than offspring of psychiatrically healthy parents (HC) for other affective and psychiatric disorders. Abnormal functioning in reward circuitry has been demonstrated previously in individuals with BD. We aimed to determine whether activation and functional connectivity in this circuitry during risky decision-making differentiated BO, NBO and HC.BO (n = 29; mean age = 13.8 years; 14 female), NBO (n = 28; mean age = 13.9 years; 12 female) and HC (n = 23; mean age = 13.7 years; 11 female) were scanned while performing a number-guessing reward task. Of the participants, 11 BO and 12 NBO had current non-BD psychopathology; five BO and four NBO were taking psychotropic medications.A 3 (group) × 2 (conditions: win-control/loss-control) analysis of variance revealed a main effect of group on right frontal pole activation: BO showed significantly greater activation than HC. There was a significant main effect of group on functional connectivity between the bilateral ventral striatum and the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (Z > 3.09, cluster-p < 0.05): BO showed significantly greater negative functional connectivity than other participants. These between-group differences remained after removing youth with psychiatric disorders and psychotropic medications from analyses.This is the first study to demonstrate that reward circuitry activation and functional connectivity distinguish BO from NBO and HC. The fact that the pattern of findings remained when comparing healthy BO v. healthy NBO v. HC suggests that these neuroimaging measures may represent trait-level neurobiological markers conferring either risk for, or protection against, BD in youth.
Project description:The authors sought to assess dimensional symptomatic predictors of new-onset bipolar spectrum disorders in youths at familial risk of bipolar disorder ("at-risk" youths).Offspring 6-18 years old of parents with bipolar I or II disorder (N=359) and community comparison offspring (N=220) were recruited. At baseline, 8.4% of the offspring of bipolar parents had a bipolar spectrum disorder. Over 8 years, 14.7% of offspring for whom follow-up data were available (44/299) developed a new-onset bipolar spectrum disorder (15 with bipolar I or II disorder). Measures collected at baseline and follow-up were reduced using factor analyses, and factors (both at baseline and at the visit prior to conversion or last contact) were assessed as predictors of new-onset bipolar spectrum disorders.Relative to comparison offspring, at-risk and bipolar offspring had higher baseline levels of anxiety/depression, inattention/disinhibition, externalizing, subsyndromal manic, and affective lability symptoms. The strongest predictors of new-onset bipolar spectrum disorders were baseline anxiety/depression, baseline and proximal affective lability, and proximal subsyndromal manic symptoms (p<0.05). While affective lability and anxiety/depression were elevated throughout follow-up in those who later developed a bipolar spectrum disorder, manic symptoms increased up to the point of conversion. A path analysis supported the hypothesis that affective lability at baseline predicts a new-onset bipolar spectrum disorder in part through increased manic symptoms at the visit prior to conversion; earlier parental age at mood disorder onset was also significantly associated with an increased risk of conversion. While youths without anxiety/depression, affective lability, and mania (and with a parent with older age at mood disorder onset) had a 2% predicted chance of conversion to a bipolar spectrum disorder, those with all risk factors had a 49% predicted chance of conversion.Dimensional measures of anxiety/depression, affective lability, and mania are important predictors of new-onset bipolar spectrum disorders in at-risk youths. These symptoms emerged from among numerous other candidates, underscoring the potential clinical and research utility of these findings.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS:Cognitive impairments are primary hallmarks symptoms of bipolar disorder (BD). Whether these deficits are markers of vulnerability or symptoms of the disease is still unclear. This study used a component-wise gradient (CGB) machine learning algorithm to identify cognitive measures that could accurately differentiate pediatric BD, unaffected offspring of BD parents, and healthy controls. METHODS:59 healthy controls (HC; 11.19 ± 3.15 yo; 30 girls), 119 children and adolescents with BD (13.31 ± 3.02 yo, 52 girls) and 49 unaffected offspring of BD parents (UO; 9.36 ± 3.18 yo; 22 girls) completed the CANTAB cognitive battery. RESULTS:CGB achieved accuracy of 73.2% and an AUROC of 0.785 in classifying individuals as either BD or non-BD on a dataset held out for validation for testing. The strongest cognitive predictors of BD were measures of processing speed and affective processing. Measures of cognition did not differentiate between UO and HC. CONCLUSIONS:Alterations in processing speed and affective processing are markers of BD in pediatric populations. Longitudinal studies should determine whether UO with a cognitive profile similar to that of HC are at less or equal risk for mood disorders. Future studies should include relevant measures for BD such as verbal memory and genetic risk scores.
Project description:Offspring of parents with bipolar disorder (BD) have been shown to be at high risk for BD. Anxiety symptoms, even at subclinical levels, have been associated with increased risk for BD in these youth. The s-allele of the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of both BD and anxiety disorders and has been associated with pharmacological treatment response and increased risk for antidepressant side effects. Therefore, we aimed to explore 1) whether anxiety symptoms in offspring of BD parents were associated with presence of the 5-HTTLPR s-allele and 2) whether anxiety symptoms in the offspring of BD parents according to the 5-HTTLPR genotypes are related to antianxiety medication status.A total of 64 offspring of BD parents (mean age: 13.7 years) and 51 healthy controls (HC) (mean age: 13.7 years) were compared genetically and on the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC).Offspring of BD parents showed higher levels of overall anxiety than did the HC group. Only antianxiety medication naïve offspring of BD parents were found to have an association between 5-HTTLPR genotypes and anxiety symptoms. The antianxiety medication naïve offspring of BD parents with the s-allele showed higher level of overall anxiety than offspring of BD parents with the l/l genotype. No significant differences in anxiety symptoms or their association with the 5-HTTLPR genotype were found in the HC group.This study indicated that there may be an association between 5-HTTLPR genotypes and anxiety symptoms in offspring of BD parents, and that antianxiety medication status may affect anxiety symptoms in the offspring of BD patients according to genotype.