The Foundation of the Neurobiology of Bipolar Disorder and Treatment

Researchers are actively investigating the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of psychotic and affective disorders. In bipolar disorder (BD), noncompliance and adherence to treatment is a prevalent issue that leads to a greater amount of mood relapses and impaired psychosocial functioning. To improve treatment adherence, long-acting injectable antipsychotics became a widely used treatment option.

Lithium has played an important role in BD and its neurobiological foundation. It has been found to increase electron transport chain activity in the brain and peripheral tissues. It has also been found to upregulate mitochondrial DNA and lessen reactive oxygen species generation and oxidative stress. Those who have used lithium have shown longer telomere length, and a study showed that lithium reverses negative telomere changes seen in mania.

While a flourishing area of research, there is further investigation that needs to be done on neuroprogression in BD and comprehend the complex interactions of the processes that may be involved. The authors of this editorial site research studies to support each of these areas discussed.

Reference: Singh B, Romo-Nava F, Cuellar-Barboza AB. Editorial: Neurobiological Underpinnings of Bipolar Disorder and Its Treatment. Front Psychiatry. 2021;12:726362. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2021.726362

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