Neuroprogressive brain changes in bipolar disorder

Although the course of BD is progressive for some patients, it remains unknown whether abnormal brain changes occur over time. Our large longitudinal study suggests that BD is associated with abnormal longitudinal changes in temporal brain areas. Abnormal cortical integrity in frontal brain regions of patients with BD may reflect a static trait but may be further impacted by the incidence of mania or hypomania. Lithium treatment may have neuroprotective/recovering effects noticeable in cortical regions belonging to visual/somatosensory networks, where cortical changes may be influenced by genetic factors. This study provides new important insights into factors underlying the clinical course of patients with BD, indicates that neuroprogression may play a role in BD, and highlights the significance of lithium medication and the prevention of (hypo)manic episodes in the treatment of BD and its subtypes.
Longitudinal Cortical Thickness Changes in Bipolar Disorder and the Relationship to Genetic Risk, Mania, and Lithium Use
Christoph Abé, Benny Liberg, Jie Song, Sarah E. Bergen, Predrag Petrovic, Carl Johan Ekman, Carl M.Sellgren, Martin Ingvar, Mikael Landén