Disease-discordant twin structural MRI studies on affective disorders

Publication date: Available online 29 November 2019Source: Neuroscience &Biobehavioral ReviewsAuthor(s): G. Delvecchio, A. Pigoni, I.E. Bauer, J.C. Soares, P. BrambillaAbstractMagnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have identified neural structures implicated in the pathophysiology of mood disorders, especially bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). However, the role of genetic and environmental influences on such brain deficits is still unclear. In this context, the present review summarizes the current evidence from structural MRI and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) studies on twin samples concordant or discordant for BD or MDD, with the aim of clarifying the role of genetic and environmental risk factors on brain alterations. Although the results showed a complex interplay between gene and environment in affective disorders, the evidence seem to underline that both genetic and environmental risk factors have an impact on brain areas and vulnerability to MDD and BD. However, the precise mechanism of action and the interaction between these factors still needs to be unveiled. Therefore, future larger studies on concordant or discordant twins should be encouraged, because this population provides a unique opportunity to probe separately genetic and environmental markers of disease vulnerability.
Source: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews - Category: Neuroscience Source Type: research

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