White matter microstructure associated with anhedonia among individuals with bipolar disorders and high-risk for bipolar disorders

Alexandre Paim Diaz, Brisa S. Fernandes, Antonio Lucio Teixeira, Benson Mwangi, Khader M. Hasan, Mon Ju Wu, Sudhakar Selvaraj, Paulo Suen, Tamires Araujo Zanao, Andre R. Brunoni, Marsal Sanches, Jair C. Soares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Anhedonia - a key symptom of depression - is highly associated with poorer outcomes and suicidal behavior. Alterations in the circuitry of reward-related brain regions have been robustly associated with anhedonia in unipolar depression, but not bipolar disorder (BD). We investigated white matter microstructures associated with anhedonia in participants with BD types I and II and first-degree relatives of patients with BD (BD-siblings). Methods: Eighty participants (BD types I and II: 56 [70%], and BD-siblings: 24 [30%]) underwent diffusion tensor imaging (DTI); Fractional anisotropy (FA) of different tracts were computed. Anhedonia was assessed using item 8, (“inability to feel'') of the MADRS scale. General linear models were used to compare the FA of different tracts in participants with and without anhedonia controlling for several clinical and demographic variables. Results: The mean age of the sample was 37 (± 11) years old, and 68.8% were female. Participants with anhedonia (32.5%) presented lower mean FA in the left uncinate fasciculus (UF) (p = 0.005), right temporal endings of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLFT) (p = 0.04), and in the left and right parietal endings of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLFP) (p = 0.003, and p = 0.04, respectively). Similar comparisons between participants with or without current depressive episodes and between participants with or without inner tension according to the MADRS did not show significant differences, specificity of the findings for anhedonia. Conclusions: Lower FA in the left UF and SLF are potential neuroimaging markers of anhedonia in individuals with BD and high-risk for BD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-98
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume300
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

Keywords

  • Anhedonia
  • Biomarker
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Neuroimaging
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Orbitofrontal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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