Bipolar disorder (BD) is a mental disorder characterized by mood fluctuations between an acute episodic state of either mania or depression and a clinically remitted state. Dysfunction of large-scale intrinsic brain networks has been demonstrated in this disorder, but it remains unknown whether those network alterations are related to different states.
In the present study, we performed a meta-analysis of whole-brain seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) studies in BD patients to compare the intrinsic function of brain networks between episodic and remitted states. Thirty-nine seed-based voxel-wise rsFC datasets from thirty publications (1047 BD patients vs 1081 controls) were included in the meta-analysis. Seeds were categorized into networks by their locations within a priori functional networks. Seed-based d mapping analysis of between-state effects identified brain systems in which different states were associated with increased connectivity or decreased connectivity within and between each seed network.
We found that BD patients presented decreased connectivity within the affective network (AN) in acute episodes but not in the remitted state of the illness. Similar decreased connectivity within the default-mode network (DMN) was also found in the acute state, but it was replaced by increased connectivity in the remitted state. In addition, different patterns of between-network dysconnectivity were observed between the acute and remitted states.
This study is the first to identify different patterns of intrinsic function in large-scale brain networks between the acute and remitted states of BD through meta-analysis. The findings suggest that a shift in network function between the acute and remitted states may be related to distinct emotional and cognitive dysfunctions in BD, which may have important implications for identifying clinically relevant biomarkers to guide alternative treatment strategies for BD patients during active episodes or remission.
This study was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81171488, 81671669 and 81820108018) and by a Sichuan Provincial Youth Grant (2017JQ0001).

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