Striatal dysfunction during failed motor inhibition in children at risk for bipolar disorder

Christen M. Deveney, Megan E. Connolly, Sarah E. Jenkins, Pilyoung Kim, Stephen J. Fromm, Melissa A. Brotman, Daniel S. Pine, Ellen Leibenluft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: A better understanding of the neural underpinnings of bipolar disorder (BD) can be obtained by examining brain activity in symptom-free individuals at risk for BD. This study examined the neural correlates of motor inhibition in a sample of symptom-free youths at familial risk for BD. Methods: 19 euthymic youths with BD, 13 asymptomatic youths with a first-degree relative with BD, and 21 healthy comparison children completed the stop signal task in a 3. T scanner. Results: Children at familial risk for BD exhibited increased putamen activation during unsuccessful inhibition that distinguished them from both healthy and BD children. Youths with BD exhibited reduced activation of the right nucleus accumbens during unsuccessful inhibition as compared to the other participant groups. Conclusions: Striatal activation patterns differ between youths at risk for BD and healthy comparison children during a motor inhibition task.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 7 Aug 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health . The authors have no conflicts to disclose. We thank the children and families for their participation which made this research possible. We also thank the staff of the Emotion and Development Branch at NIMH.


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Motor inhibition
  • Population at risk


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