Person-based similarity in brain structure and functional connectivity in bipolar disorder

Gaelle E. Doucet, David C. Glahn, Sophia Frangou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Bipolar disorder shows significant variability in clinical presentation. Here we adopt a personalized approach to quantify the brain structural and functional similarity of each individual patient to other patients and to healthy individuals. METHODS: Brain morphometric and resting-state functional connectivity measures from two independent samples of patients with bipolar disorder and healthy individuals (total number of participants=215) were modeled as single vectors to generated individualized morphometric and connectivity profiles. These profiles were then used to compute a person-based similarity indices which quantified the similarity in neuroimaging profiles amongst patients and between patients and health individuals. RESULTS: The morphometric and connectivity profiles of patients showed within-diagnosis similarity which was comparable to that observed in healthy individuals. They also showed minimal deviance from those of healthy individuals; the correlation between the profiles of patients and healthy individuals was high (range: 0.71–0.94, p<10−5). The degree of similarity between imaging profiles was associated with IQ (for cortical thickness) and age (functional integration) rather than clinical variables. Patients who were prescribed lithium, compared to those who were not, showed greater similarity to healthy individuals in terms of network integration (t = 2.2, p = 0.03). LIMITATIONS: We focused on patients with Bipolar disorder, type I only. CONCLUSIONS: High inter-individual similarity in neuroimaging profiles was observed amongst patients with bipolar disorder and between patients and healthy individuals. We infer that brain alterations associated with bipolar disorder may be nested within the normal biological diversity consistent with the high prevalence of mood symptoms in the general population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Inter-individual correlation
  • Magnetic resonance imaging, normative modeling
  • Resting-state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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