City Research Online

Connectomic markers of disease expression, genetic risk and resilience in bipolar disorder.

Dima, D., Roberts, R.E. & Frangou, S. (2016). Connectomic markers of disease expression, genetic risk and resilience in bipolar disorder.. Translational Psychiatry, 6(1), article number e706. doi: 10.1038/tp.2015.193


Bipolar disorder (BD) is characterized by emotional dysregulation and cognitive deficits associated with abnormal connectivity between subcortical-primarily emotional processing regions-and prefrontal regulatory areas. Given the significant contribution of genetic factors to BD, studies in unaffected first-degree relatives can identify neural mechanisms of genetic risk but also resilience, thus paving the way for preventive interventions. Dynamic causal modeling (DCM) and random-effects Bayesian model selection were used to define and assess connectomic phenotypes linked to facial affect processing and working memory in a demographically matched sample of first-degree relatives carefully selected for resilience (n=25), euthymic patients with BD (n=41) and unrelated healthy controls (n=46). During facial affect processing, patients and relatives showed similarly increased frontolimbic connectivity; resilient relatives, however, evidenced additional adaptive hyperconnectivity within the ventral visual stream. During working memory processing, patients displayed widespread hypoconnectivity within the corresponding network. In contrast, working memory network connectivity in resilient relatives was comparable to that of controls. Our results indicate that frontolimbic dysfunction during affect processing could represent a marker of genetic risk to BD, and diffuse hypoconnectivity within the working memory network a marker of disease expression. The association of hyperconnectivity within the affect-processing network with resilience to BD suggests adaptive plasticity that allows for compensatory changes and encourages further investigation of this phenotype in genetic and early intervention studies.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Dima et al_Translational Psychiatry_2016.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

Download (800kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login