Amygdala and insula volumes prior to illness onset in bipolar disorder: A magnetic resonance imaging study

Andreas Bechdolf, Stephen J. Wood, Barnaby Nelson, Dennis Velakoulis, Murat Yücel, Tsutomu Takahashi, Alison R. Yung, Michael Berk, Michael T. Wong, Christos Pantelis, Patrick D. McGorry

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    There are now numerous reports of neuroanatomical abnormalities in people with bipolar disorder. However, it remains unclear whether those abnormalities predate the onset of the illness. In this cross-sectional magnetic resonance imaging study, we assessed 11 young people clinically at ultra-high risk of development of psychosis (UHR), who all developed bipolar I or II disorder by follow-up (median time to onset 328. days - UHR-BP), 11 matched UHR participants, who had no psychiatric diagnosis after at least 12. months of follow-up (UHR-Well) and 11 matched healthy controls (HC). Our main outcome measures were amygdala, hippocampus, insula, lateral ventricular and whole brain volumes. Amygdala and insula volume reductions were more pronounced in the UHR-BP than in the UHR-Well and HC group. Lateral ventricle, whole-brain and hippocampal volumes did not differ between groups. If these findings are confirmed, they suggest that imaging investigations could help to distinguish people who will subsequently develop bipolar disorder from those who will not, at least in symptomatically enriched samples. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)34-39
    Number of pages5
    JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2012


    • Amygdala
    • At-risk mental state
    • Bipolar affective disorder
    • Magnetic resonance imaging


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