Paper Title
Characterization of Hippocampal and Thalamic Volumes in Pediatrics With Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia Spectrum Diagnosis

Specific brain regions, hippocampus and thalamus, were segmented and characterized to understand the effects of bipolar disorder (BD) and schizophrenia (SZ), which are mental disorders with abnormal brain development during late adolescence or early adulthood. Structural magnetic resonance imaging data (obtained on 1.5 Tesla) of brain scans of 103 youths (4-17 years old) were segmented for desired brain regions using FSL program and its features. Diagnostic categories of BD with psychosis (BDwP; N = 19), BD without psychosis (BDwoP; N = 35), SZ (N = 20), and healthy controls (HC; 29) were analyzed using ANCOVA along with gender and sides of desired brain region while controlling for age and total brain volume (obtained using ANOVA). Significant reduction of average total brain volumes were observed for BDwP and BDwoP compared to HC and significant gender difference was found as males had greater volumes. Hippocampal volumes was smaller for only BDwoP, while BDwP and BDwoP showed smaller thalamic volumes. SZ group did not show any significant reductions. Interactions were also found for diagnostic categories and gender for whole brain volumes as well as sides of hippocampal volumes and gender. Reduction of hippocampus and thalamus volumes in youths’ brains with BD or SZ provides insight into understanding the developmental patterns of neural deficits in mental disorders during a crucial growth stage.