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Impairments in facial emotion recognition (FER) have been reported in bipolar disorder (BD) during all mood states. FER has been the focus of functional magnetic resonance imaging studies evaluating differential activation of limbic regions. Recently, the α1-C subunit of the L-type voltage-gated calcium channel (CACNA1C) gene has been described as a risk gene for BD and its Met allele found to increase CACNA1C mRNA expression. In healthy controls, the CACNA1C risk (Met) allele has been reported to increase limbic system activation during emotional stimuli and also to impact on cognitive function. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of CACNA1C genotype on FER scores and limbic system morphology in subjects with BD and healthy controls. Thirty-nine euthymic BD I subjects and 40 healthy controls were submitted to a FER recognition test battery and genotyped for CACNA1C. Subjects were also examined with a 3D 3-Tesla structural imaging protocol. The CACNA1C risk allele for BD was associated to FER impairment in BD, while in controls nothing was observed. The CACNA1C genotype did not impact on amygdala or hippocampus volume neither in BD nor controls. Sample size. The present findings suggest that a polymorphism in calcium channels interferes FER phenotype exclusively in BD and doesn't interfere on limbic structures morphology. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Márcio Gerhardt Soeiro-de-Souza, Maria Concepción Garcia Otaduy, Carolina Zadres Dias, Danielle S Bio, Rodrigo Machado-Vieira, Ricardo Alberto Moreno. The impact of the CACNA1C risk allele on limbic structures and facial emotions recognition in bipolar disorder subjects and healthy controls. Journal of affective disorders. 2012 Dec 1;141(1):94-101

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PMID: 22464935

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