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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2015, Article ID 165180, 8 pages
Research Article

Normal Metabolic Levels in Prefrontal Cortex in Euthymic Bipolar I Patients with and without Suicide Attempts

1Department of Neurosciences and Mental Health, Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program (CETHA), Universidade Federal da Bahia, 40110-905 Salvador, BA, Brazil
2Image Memorial, Medicina Diagnóstica, Salvador, BA, Brazil
3Laboratório Interdisciplinar de Neurociências Clínicas (LiNC), Universidade Federal de São Paulo, 04021-001 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
4Department of Radiology, Universidade Federal da Bahia, 40110-905 Salvador, BA, Brazil
5Postgraduate Program in Medicine and Health, Universidade Federal da Bahia, 40110-905 Salvador, BA, Brazil

Received 29 September 2014; Revised 23 December 2014; Accepted 6 January 2015

Academic Editor: João Quevedo

Copyright © 2015 Marlos Vasconcelos Rocha 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.


Introduction/Objective. Evidence suggests that the prefrontal cortex has been implicated in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder (BD), but few neurochemical studies have evaluated this region in bipolar patients and there is no information from BD suicide attempters using Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (H+MRS). The objective was to evaluate the metabolic function of the medial orbital frontal cortex in euthymic BD type I suicide and nonsuicide attempters compared to healthy subjects by H+MRS. Methods. 40 euthymic bipolar I outpatients, 19 without and 21 with history of suicide attempt, and 22 healthy subjects were interviewed using the Structured Clinical Interview with the DSM-IV axis I, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, the Young Mania Rating Scale, and the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11 and underwent H+MRS. Results. We did not find any metabolic abnormality in medial orbital frontal regions of suicide and nonsuicide BD patients and BD patients as a group compared to healthy subjects. Conclusions. The combined chronic use of psychotropic drugs with neuroprotective or neurotrophic effects leading to a euthymic state for longer periods of time may improve neurometabolic function, at least measured by H+MRS, even in suicide attempters. Besides, these results may implicate mood dependent alterations in brain metabolic activity. However, more studies with larger sample sizes of this heterogeneous disorder are warranted to clarify these data.