Corpus callosum size and shape in established bipolar affective disorder

Mark Walterfang, Gin S. Malhi, Amanda G. Wood, David C. Reutens, Jian Chen, Sarah Barton, Murat Yücel, Dennis Velakoulis, Christos Pantelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Callosal structural and functional alterations have been demonstrated in a range of neuropsychiatric illnesses, including bipolar disorder, but no study has examined regional callosal thickness in this phenotype. The aim of the present study was therefore to examine callosal size and shape in a well-defined group of bipolar affective disorder patients and controls.
Methods: The participants included 24 patients with DSM-IV bipolar I disorder and 24 matched healthy controls. The corpus callosum was extracted from mid-callosal images from T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging scans on all participants, and callosal area, length, bending angle and regional callosal thickness measures were computed from these images.
Results: The callosum was thinner in the bipolar group overall, with a disproportionately reduced thickness in the splenium. Psychotic and non-psychotic patients did not differ, although patients without a family history of mood disorders had a thinner callosum.
Conclusion: Callosal reductions are present in established bipolar disorder, and affect posterior regions more than anterior regions. This may reflect a primary disturbance to myelination, or a secondary effect of grey matter changes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)838-845
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number9
Early online date1 Sept 2009
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2009


  • Adult, Bipolar Disorder, Case-Control Studies, Corpus Callosum, Family Health, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Psychotic Disorders, Time Factors


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