Resting state networks activity in euthymic Bipolar disorder

Marcella Bellani, Pietro Bontempi, Niccolò Zovetti, Maria Gloria Rossetti, Cinzia Perlini, Nicola Dusi, Letizia Squarcina, Veronica Marinelli, Giada Zoccatelli, Franco Alessandrini, Elisa Francesca Maria Ciceri, Andrea Sbarbati, Paolo Brambilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Bipolar disorder (BD) is a psychiatric condition causing shifts in mood, energy and activity levels severely altering the quality of life of the patients even in the euthymic phase. Although widely accepted, the neurobiological bases of the disorder in the euthymic phase remain elusive. This study aims at characterizing resting state functional activity of the BD euthymic phase in order to better understand the pathogenesis of the disease and build future neurobiological models. Methods: Fifteen euthymic BD patients (10 females; mean age 40.2; standard deviation 13.5; range 20–61) and 27 healthy controls (HC) (21 females; mean age 37; standard deviation 10.6; range 22–60) underwent a 3T functional MRI scan at rest. Resting state activity was extracted through independent component analysis (ICA) run with automatic dimensionality estimation. Results: ICA identified 22 resting state networks (RSNs). Within-network analysis revealed decreased connectivity in the visual, temporal, motor and cerebellar RSNs of BD patients vs HC. Between-network analysis showed increased connectivity between motor area and the default mode network (DMN) partially overlapping with the fronto-parietal network (FPN) in BD patients. Conclusion: Within-network analysis confirmed existing evidence of altered cerebellar, temporal, motor and visual networks in BD. Increased connectivity between the DMN and the motor area network suggests the presence of alterations of the fronto-parietal regions, precuneus and cingulate cortex in the euthymic condition. These findings indicate that specific connectivity alterations might persist even in the euthymic state suggesting the importance of examining both within and between-network connectivity to achieve a global understanding of the BD euthymic condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-601
JournalBipolar Disorders
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • bipolar disorder
  • default mode network
  • network analysis
  • resting-state fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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