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Reduced Lateral OFC Volume and Suicidality in BD

Bipolar Disord; ePub 2018 Nov 24; Huber, et al

The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is involved in decision‐making, impulsivity, and reward circuitry, which have shown to be impaired in bipolar disorder (BD). In order to investigate the relationship between suicide behavior and the OFC in youth with BD, researchers conducted a recent study consisting of 37 participants with BD and 26 non‐psychiatric controls, aged 13 to 21 years. Participants completed a diagnostic interview and mood rating scales and later underwent an MRI on a 3T Siemens Verio scanner. Researchers found:

  • 18 participants with BD had a history of suicide attempt (SA).
  • Bipolar youth with a history of SA showed reduced left lateral OFC volumes compared to controls, but there was no difference between BD attempters and non‐attempters.
  • Controls and BD non‐attempters had significantly greater OFC cortical thickness than BD attempters.
  • Additionally, there was a significant negative correlation between OFC volumes and suicide lethality, demonstrating that as suicide lethality increased, OFC volume in BD youth was reduced.


Huber RS, S P, Kondo DG, Shi X, Renshaw PF, Yurgelun-Todd DA. Reduced lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) volume and suicide behavior in youth with bipolar disorder. [Published online ahead of print November 24, 2018]. Bipolar Disord. doi:10.1111/bdi.12729.