Researcher Finds Treating Insulin Resistance May Improve Treatment-Resistant Bipolar Disorder

A researcher from Halifax, Nova Scotia has a new approach to treatment-resistant bipolar disorder, with treating insulin resistance. Dr. Cindy Calkin published her research in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. In the clinical trial, patients with treatment-resistant bipolar disorder were administered metformin, which is a common drug to give those with diabetes in Canada, to reverse insulin resistance. It was found that 54% of those with bipolar disorder have insulin resistance, and 50% of those patients will be resistant to treatment. Dr. Calkin saw improvements in patients by week 6, with patients remaining well by the study’s endpoint of week 14 and beyond that to week 26. In one of her patients who had extensive blood-brain barrier leakage, the differences in MRI scans before metformin and 3 months into treatment on metformin were significant. The blood-brain barrier healed, no longer being insulin resistant, and the patient has been in remission with his depression for 6 years.

Reference: Tattrie J. 50-year-old diabetes drug helps patients with bipolar disorder, study finds. CBC. Updated July 18, 2022. Accessed August 19, 2022.

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