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Journal of Translational Neuroscience    2016, Vol. 1 Issue (1) : 43-51     DOI: 10.3868/j.issn.2096-0689.01.007
Research Article |
The effect of lithium on resting-state brain networks in patients with bipolar depression
Chunhong Liu1, 2, Xin Ma1, 2*, Yuan Zhen3, Yu Zhang1, 2, Lirong Tang1, 2, Feng Li1, 2, Changle Tie1, 2, Chuanyue Wang1,2
1. Beijing Key Laboratory of Mental Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, Beijing Anding Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100088, China;
2. Center of Brain Disorders, Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders, Beijing 100069, China;
3. Bioimaging Core, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau, Macau SAR, China
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Abstract Objective: Although lithium has been a commonly prescribed neurotrophic/neuroprotective mood-stabilizing agents, its effect on spontaneous brain activity in patients with bipolar depression remains unclear. The aim of this study is to reveal the basic mechanism underlying the pathological influences of lithium on resting-state brain function of bipolar depression patients. Methods: 97 subjects including 9 bipolar depression patients with lithium treatment, 19 bipolar depression patients without lithium treatment and 69 healthy controls, were recruited to participate in this study. Amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) and fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF) were used to capture the changes of spontaneous brain activity among different groups. In addition, further analysis in terms of Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, the number of depressive episodes, and illness duration in pooled bipolar depression patients were conducted, which combined FLEF and fALEF to identify the basic neural features of bipolar depression patients. Results: It was observed from the imaging results that both the bipolar depression patients receiving lithium treatment and healthy control subjects showed significantly decreased ALFF/fALFF values in the right anterior cingulate cortex and right middle frontal gyrus compared to that from the bipolar depression patients without lithium treatmetn. The ALFF values of the right middle temporal gyrus was also found to be negative related to the number of depressive episode and the total episodes. Conclusions: Our findings suggested that the bipolar depression subjects were identified to have abnormal ALFF/ fALFF in the cortico-limbic systems, including regions like right anterior cingulate cortex, bilateral middle frontal gyrus, right orbital frontal gyrus, and right middle temporal gyrus. In addition, it was also revealed that the decreased ALFF/fALFF in the right anterior cingulate cortex and right middle frontal gyrus might be a biomarker that is related to the lithium effects.
Keywords bipolar depression      lithium      functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)      amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF)      fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF)     
Corresponding Authors: *Xin Ma, E-mail:   
Issue Date: 14 October 2016
 Cite this article:   
Chunhong Liu,Xin Ma,Yuan Zhen, et al. The effect of lithium on resting-state brain networks in patients with bipolar depression[J]. Journal of Translational Neuroscience, 2016, 1(1): 43-51.
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Chunhong Liu
Xin Ma
Yuan Zhen
Yu Zhang
Lirong Tang
Feng Li
Changle Tie
Chuanyue Wang
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