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Posterior Fossa Sub-Arachnoid Cysts Observed in Patients with Bipolar Disorder: a Retrospective Cohort Study.

Abstract

Posterior fossa arachnoid cysts (PFACs) are rare congenital abnormalities observed in 0.3 to 1.7% of the population and are traditionally thought to be benign. While conducting a neuroimaging study investigating cerebellar structure in bipolar disorder, we observed a higher incidence of PFACs in bipolar patients (5 of 75; 6.6%) compared to the neuronormative control group (1 of 54; 1.8%). In this report, we detail the cases of the five patients with bipolar disorder who presented with PFACs. Additionally, we compare neuropsychiatric measures and cerebellar volumes of these patients to neuronormative controls and bipolar controls (those with bipolar disorder without neuroanatomical abnormalities). Our findings suggest that patients with bipolar disorder who also present with PFACs may have a milder symptom constellation relative to patients with bipolar disorder and no neuroanatomical abnormalities. Furthermore, our observations align with prior literature suggesting an association between PFACs and psychiatric symptoms that warrants further study. While acknowledging sample size limitations, our primary aim in the present work is to highlight a connection between PFACs and BD-associated symptoms and encourage further study of cerebellar abnormalities in psychiatry.

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