Distinct Patterns of Altered Quantitative T1ρ and Functional BOLD response Associated with History of Suicide Attempts in Bipolar Disorder

Document Type


Publication Title

Brain Imaging and Behavior


Despite the high risk for suicide, relatively few studies have explored the relationship between suicide and brain imaging measures in bipolar disorder. In addition, fewer studies have explored the possibility that altered brain metabolism may be associated with suicide attempt. To begin to fill in these gaps, we evaluated functional (task based fMRI) and metabolic (quantitative T1ρ) differences associated with suicide attempt in participants with bipolar disorder. Thirty-nine participants with bipolar disorder underwent fMRI during a flashing checkerboard task and 27 also underwent quantitative T1ρ. The relationship between neuroimaging and history of suicide attempt was tested using multiple regression while adjusting for age, sex, and current mood state. Differences between two measures of suicide attempt (binary: yes/no and continuous: number of attempts) were quantified using the corrected Akaike Information Criterion. Participants who had attempted suicide had greater fMRI task-related activation in visual areas and the cerebellum. The number of suicide attempts was associated with a difference in BOLD response in the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and cerebellum. Increased quantitative T1ρ was associated with number of suicide attempts in limbic, basal ganglia, and prefrontal cortex regions. This study is a secondary analysis with a modest sample size. Differences between measures of suicide history may be due to differences in statistical power. History of suicide was associated with limbic, prefrontal, and cerebellar alterations. Results comparing those with and without suicide attempts differed from results using number of suicide attempts, suggesting that these variables have different neurobiological underpinnings.



Publication Date



Bipolar disorder, MRI, suicide, T1ρ, fMRI