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Researchers' Work from Karolinska University Hospital Focuses on Bipolar Disorders


By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Mental Health Weekly Digest -- Investigators discuss new findings in Bipolar Disorders. According to news reporting from Stockholm, Sweden, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "Telomere shortening is a hallmark of aging and has been associated with oxidative stress, inflammation and chronic somatic, as well as psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and depression. Additionally, antidepressants have been found to protect against telomere shortening."

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from Karolinska University Hospital, "However, pharmacological telomere studies are lacking in bipolar disorder (BD). Therefore, the objective of this study was to explore telomere length (TL) in patients with BD in the context of lithium treatment. We determined TL by quantitative real-time PCR using peripheral blood leukocytes. Participants were outpatients diagnosed with BD type 1 or 2 (n%6) and healthy controls (n9). Retrospective case-control and case-case study designs were applied. Lithium response (LiR) was scored using the Alda-Scale. Lithium-treated BD patients overall, as well as those on lithium monotherapy, had 35% longer telomeres compared with controls (p 30 months (p=0.031, R(2)=0.13) and was negatively associated with increasing number of depressive episodes (p <0.007). BD patients responding well to lithium treatment had longer telomeres than those not responding well. This is the first study to report a positive effect of long-term lithium treatment on TL. Importantly, longer TL was also associated with a better LiR in BD patients. These data suggest that lithium exerts a protective effect against telomere shortening especially when therapeutically efficacious."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "We hypothesize that induction of telomerase activity may be involved in LiR in BD."

For more information on this research see: Long-term lithium treatment in bipolar disorder is associated with longer leukocyte telomeres. Translational Psychiatry, 2013;3():e261. (Nature Publishing Group -; Translational Psychiatry -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting L. Martinsson, Dept. of Clinical Neuroscience, Centre for Psychiatric Research and Education, Karolinska Institutet, Clinic for Affective Disorders, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden (see also Bipolar Disorders).

Keywords for this news article include: Sweden, Europe, Stockholm, Treatment, Immunology, Leukocytes, Psychiatry, Blood Cells, Immune System, Manic Depressive Illness.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2013, NewsRx LLC

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