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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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144. The Relationship between Maintenance and Manipulation Components of Working Memory and Prefrontal and Parietal Brain Regions in Bipolar Disorder

BACKGROUND. Working memory (WM) has been found to be impaired across mood states in bipolar disorder. WM is delineated into separate components, maintenance and manipulation, where manipulation is involved in higher-order cognitive processes. No study to date has investigated the components of WM separately in bipolar disorder and associated them with underlying structural brain regions.

METHODS. A visuospatial WM task and magnetic resonance imaging scan were completed by 50 participants (24 controls). Gray matter volume, surface area, and cortical thickness of the prefrontal and parietal cortices were obtained from FreeSurfer. The relationship between WM performance, structural integrity, symptoms, and functioning were investigated.

RESULTS. Behaviourally, bipolar patients were less accurate than controls (p = 0.046). There was a main effect of group for cortical thickness, where controls had thicker prefrontal and parietal cortices (p’s = 0.002 - 0.028). For bipolar patients, thicker cortices in the prefrontal region were associated with better accuracy on the maintenance condition (r’s = 0.53 – 0.54; p’s = 0.004-0.006) and more severe depressive symptomology (r = 0.40, p = 0.052).

CONCLUSIONS. Bipolar patients showed both worse behavioral WM accuracy and reduced structural integrity in regions involved in WM, highlighting brain-behavior associations in bipolar disorder.

Ivy Cho
University of Toronto Scarborough

Vina Goghari
University of Toronto Scarborough


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