Hyperintense lesions on magnetic resonance images in bipolar disorder.
BACKGROUND: To examine the magnetic resonance (MR) images of bipolar patients across a wide age range for the presence of hyperintense lesions compared to age- and gender-matched control subjects. METHODS: Consecutive admissions to a mood disorders unit over a 2-year period were evaluated retrospectively for the presence of bipolar disorder by DSM-III-R criteria and whether they received an MR scan. Bipolar patients (n = 70, mean age = 49.9 +/- 19.7 years) were age- and gender-matched to control subjects (n = 70, mean age = 53.2 +/- 18.1 years) and the MR scans were rated to assess for the presence of hyperintensites. RESULTS: Compared to control subjects, the bipolar patients demonstrated hyperintense lesions in the subependymal region, subcortical gray nuclei, and the deep white matter. CONCLUSIONS: Hyperintense lesions in bipolar patients are found in both the subcortical white matter and gray nuclei and may play an important role in the etiology of bipolar illness.
McDonald, WM; Tupler, LA; Marsteller, FA; Figiel, GS; DiSouza, S; Nemeroff, CB; Krishnan, KR
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