In the field of bipolar disorder research there is an absence of validated biomarkers and limited understanding of the biology underlying excessive and premature cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to examine psychiatric and cardiovascular characteristics associated with peripheral oxidative stress, which the authors feel is a potential biomarker in both bipolar disorder and cardiovascular disease.
The participants consisted of 30 adolescents, 13-19 years old, with bipolar disorder and without cardiovascular disease. Serum levels of oxidative stress markers (lipid hydroperoxides and protein carbonylation) were assayed.
Compared to published data on adults with bipolar disorder, the adolescents had significantly lower levels of lipid hydroperoxides and protein carbonylation. Thicker mean and maximum carotid intima media thickness was associated with greater levels of lipid hydroperoxides. Lipid hydroperoxide level was associated with diastolic blood pressure and pulse pressure. Mood symptoms and medication were not significantly associated with oxidative stress.
The authors concluded that adolescents with bipolar disorder have lower levels of oxidative stress compared to bipolar adults. They noted that oxidative stress is robustly associated with a proxy measure of atherosclerosis and suggest that their data may help explain in part the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in bipolar disorder patients. One drawback of this study is that adults were not included in the study design and that only published data on adults was used for comparison purposes.
Hatch J, Andreazza A, Olowoyeye O, Rezin GT, Moody A and Goldstein BI: Cardiovascular and psychiatric characteristics associated with oxidative stress markers among adolescents with bipolar disorder. J. Psychosom. Res. [Epub ahead of print, April 20, 2015; doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2015.04.005].

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