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Abnormal prefrontal brain activation during a verbal fluency task in bipolar disorder patients with psychotic symptoms using multichannel NIRS

Authors Sun JJ, Liu XM, Shen CY, Feng K, Liu PZ

Received 2 June 2018

Accepted for publication 26 September 2018

Published 13 November 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 3081—3090


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Yuping Ning

Jing-Jing Sun,1,2 Xiao-Min Liu,2 Chen-Yu Shen,2 Kun Feng,1,2 Po-Zi Liu2

1School of Clinical Medicine, Medicine Institute, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China; 2Yu Quan Hospital, Clinical Neuroscience Institute, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Purpose: Bipolar disorder (BD) patients with psychotic symptoms (BDp) worsens prognosis and decreases rates of recovery. The study investigated cognitive performance and brain function between BD patients in depressive episode with and without psychotic symptoms to find potential neurobiological markers associated with psychotic features of BD patients in depressive episode.
Patients and methods: Thirty-one patients without psychotic symptoms and 29 patients with psychotic symptoms diagnosed with bipolar I disorder with a current depressive episode were included in the present study. The neural function of prefrontal cortex (PFC) and cognitive performance among BDp, BD patients without psychotic symptoms, and 23 healthy controls (HC) were examined using near-infrared spectroscopy during verbal fluency task (VFT).
Results: 1) Both the BD groups exhibited significantly worse performance of VFT and lower activation of oxygenated hemoglobin (oxy-Hb) changes in the bilateral ventrolateral PFC compared with the HC group. 2) Within the BD group, VFT performance was not significantly different. 3) The prefrontal activation of oxy-Hb changes in the BDp patients was significantly lower than that in the BD patients without psychotic symptoms in the right dorsolateral PFC. 4) Activation of oxy-Hb changes in right dorsolateral PFC was negatively correlated with the severity of psychotic symptoms in BDp patients.
Conclusion: The prefrontal function differs between BD patients in depressive episode with or without psychotic symptoms measured with near-infrared spectroscopy.

Keywords: bipolar disorder, depressive, psychotic symptoms, near-infrared spectroscopy, verbal fluency task

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