Table of Contents
ISRN Psychiatry
Volume 2013, Article ID 568617, 10 pages
Research Article

Different Neural Responses to a Moral Valence Decision Task in Unipolar and Bipolar Depression

1Department of Neuropsychiatric Sciences, Scientific Institute, University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, San Raffaele Turro, Via Stamira d’Ancona 20, Milan, Italy
2Centre of Excellence High Field Magnetic Resonance (C.E.R.M.A.C.), University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy
3Department of Neuroradiology, Scientific Institute, University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy

Received 2 October 2013; Accepted 12 November 2013

Academic Editors: A. Deveci and R. Milev

Copyright © 2013 Daniele Radaelli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. Patients affected by bipolar disorder (BP) and major depressive disorder (UP) share the susceptibility to experience depression and differ in their susceptibility to mania, but clinical studies suggest that the biological substrates of the two disorders could influence the apparently similar depressive phases. The few brain imaging studies available described different brain metabolic and neural correlates of UP and BP. Methods. We studied the BOLD neural response to a moral valence decision task targeting the depressive biases in information processing in 36 subjects (14 BP, 11 UP, and 11 controls). Results. Main differences between UP and controls and between UP and BP were detected in left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC, BA 47). Neural responses of BP patients differed from those of control subjects in multiple brain areas, including anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and medial PFC, bilateral dorsolateral PFC, temporal cortex and insula, and parietal and occipital cortex. Conclusions. Our results are in agreement with hypotheses of dysfunctions in corticolimbic circuitries regulating affects and emotions in mood disorders and suggest that specific abnormalities, particularly in ventrolateral PFC, are not the same in UP and BP depression.