Research Summary: Scaling Behavior of Human Locomotor Activity Amplitude: Association with Bipolar Disorder


Scale invariance is a feature of complex biological systems, and abnormality of multi-scale behaviour may serve as an indicator of pathology. The hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is a major node in central neural networks responsible for regulating multi-scale behaviour in measures of human locomotor activity. SCN also is implicated in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder (BD) or manic-depressive illness, a severe, episodic disorder of mood, cognition and behaviour. Here, we investigated scaling behaviour in actigraphically recorded human motility data for potential indicators of BD, particularly its manic phase. A proposed index of scaling behaviour (Vulnerability Index [VI]) derived from such data distinguished between: [i] healthy subjects at high versus low risk of mood disorders; [ii] currently clinically stable BD patients versus matched controls; and [iii] among clinical states in BD patients.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 31-May-2011

Author(s): Indic P., Salvatore P., Maggini C., Ghidini S., Ferraro G., Baldessarini R., Murray G.


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