Structural alterations associated with suicide attempts in major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder: A diffusion tensor imaging study

Shengnan Wei, Fay Y. Womer, Elliot K. Edmiston, Ran Zhang, Xiaowei Jiang, Feng Wu, Lingtao Kong, Yifang Zhou, Yanqing Tang, Fei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BD) are major affective disorders associated with high risk for suicide. Neural mechanisms underlying suicide attempts are poorly understood in MDD and BD but likely relate to the structural abnormalities in brain regions. In this study, we explored structural alterations in MDD and BD with prior suicide attempts (SA) using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Methods: Participants consisted of 27 MDD patients with prior SA (men: 9; age means±sd: 28.04 ± 11.06 years), 49 MDD patients without prior SA (men: 11; age means±sd: 30.03 ± 0.91 years), 25 BD patients with prior SA (men: 7, age means±sd: 27.08 ± 8.40 years), 49 BD patients without prior SA (men: 26, means±sd: 27.69 ± 9.97 years),and 49 healthy controls (HC) (men: 18, means±sd: 31.12 ± 9.95 years). All participants underwent DTI to examine fractional anisotropy (FA) in brain regions. Results: FA in several major white matter (WM) bundles including bilateral inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF), bilateral uncinate fasciculus (UF), and the corpus callosum (CC) was shown in MDD with prior SA, compared to MDD without prior SA and HC. Decreased FA was also found in bilateral IFOF, bilateral UF, and CC, as well as other WM bundles, in BD with prior SA, compared to BD without prior SA and HC. Significant diagnostic group by SA effects were shown in bilateral thalami with lowest mean FA values in MDD with prior SA. Conclusions: Our findings support the involvement of structural alterations in suicide attempts in major affective disorders. Shared and distinct structural alterations were shown in MDD and BD with prior SA, suggesting common and differential neural pathways for suicide among major affective disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109827
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Volume98
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2 2020

Keywords

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Suicide attempts

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