Increased presence of white matter hyperintensities in adolescent patients with bipolar disorder

Jay J. Pillai, Lee Friedman, Traci A. Stuve, Sal Trinidad, John A. Jesberger, Jonathan S. Lewin, Robert L. Findling, Thomas P. Swales, S. Charles Schulz

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98 Scopus citations


Several reports have noted an increase in white matter hyperintensities (WMH) on MRI scans of adult patients with bipolar disorder. We investigated whether this increase was also evident in a group of adolescent patients with bipolar disorder. The sample consisted of 15 bipolar patients, 19 patients with schizophrenia and 16 healthy comparison subjects. All subjects were adolescents. WMH were blindly rated on T2-weighted and PD-weighted MRI scans using our own scale with documented inter-rater reliability. WMH were present in 10 of 15 bipolar patients (67%), seven of 19 patients with schizophrenia (37%) and five of 16 comparison subjects (31%). The bipolar adolescent group had a statistically significant increased presence of WMH compared both with healthy comparison subjects and the schizophrenic group. The association between WMH and bipolar disorder appears to extend to the adolescent years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-56
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 15 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Stanley Foundation.


  • Adolescent patients
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Brain imaging
  • Schizophrenia
  • White matter hyperintensities


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