Changes in cortical thickness and volume of cerebellar subregions in patients with bipolar disorders

Jooyeon Kim, Heejoon Cho, Jinha Kim, Aram Kim, Youbin Kang, Wooyoung Kang, Kwan Woo Choi, Byung Joo Ham, Kyu Man Han, Woo Suk Tae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Numerous studies have suggested that structural changes in the cerebellum are implicated in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder (BD). We aimed to investigate differences in the volume and cortical thickness of the cerebellar subregions between patients with BD and healthy controls (HCs). Methods: Ninety patients with BD and one hundred sixty-six HCs participated in this study and underwent T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance imaging. We analyzed the volume and cortical thickness of each cerebellar hemisphere divided into 12 subregions using T1-weighted images of participants. One-way analysis of covariance was used to evaluate differences between the groups, with age, sex, medication, and total intracranial cavity volume used as covariates. Results: The BD group had significantly increased cortical thickness of the cerebellum in all cerebellar subregions compared to the HC group. The cortical thicknesses of the whole cerebellum and each hemisphere were also significantly thicker in the BD group than in the HC group. The volume of the left lobule IX was significantly lower in patients with BD than in HCs, whereas no significant differences in the volumes were observed in the other subregions. Limitations: Our cross-sectional design cannot provide a causal relationship between the increased cortical thickness of the cerebellum and the risk of BD. Conclusions: We observed widespread and significant cortical thickening in all the cerebellar subregions. Our results provide evidence for the involvement of the cerebellum in BD. Further studies are required to integrate neurobiological evidence and structural brain imaging to elucidate the pathophysiology of BD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (No. NRF-2016M3A9A7916996) and by the Research Program To Solve Social Issues of the NRF of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (No. NRF-2017R1A2B4002090).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Cerebellar volume
  • Cerebellum
  • Cortical thickness
  • MRI
  • Subregion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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