Bipolar Disorder Research Roundup: February 9, 2024


What is new in research on bipolar disorder?

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In this Research Roundup, we explore new studies on bipolar disorder, its connections to neuroendocrine/glucose metabolism and suicide attempt risk, and more.

Assessing Neuroendocrine/Glucose Metabolism and Clinical Outcomes in Bipolar Disorder
This study assessed the impact of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis/hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis and glucose metabolism on clinical outcomes in bipolar depression (BD-D) and manic bipolar (BD-M) disorders. It involved 500 patients with BD across 15 hospitals in Western China, tracking symptoms and hormone levels over 12 weeks. Results revealed correlations between hormone levels and symptom severity, suggesting potential biomarkers for treatment response, such as thyroid hormone (T3) for BD-D and insulin resistance for BD-M, indicating avenues for personalized treatment strategies.

The investigators concluded that, “If confirmed in further longitudinal studies, monitoring T3 in BD-D patients and the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance for BD-M could be used as potential treatment response biomarkers.”


Zhang X, Zhou Y, Chen Y, et al. The association between neuroendocrine/glucose metabolism and clinical outcomes and disease course in different clinical states of bipolar disordersFront Psychiatry. 2024;15:1275177.

Efficacy of Aripiprazole Once Monthly for Bipolar Disorder
This 1-year retrospective analysis assessed the effectiveness and safety of aripiprazole once monthly (AOM) in patients with bipolar disorder (BD). Findings showed a significant reduction in mood episodes, particularly manic and depressive episodes, along with decreased use of psychiatric medications and pills post-AOM treatment.

Although limitations such as a small sample size and potential selection bias were noted, the results suggest that AOM could be a clinically beneficial treatment option for patients with BD, potentially mitigating issues related to polypharmacy.


Woo YS, Jeong JH, Kang H, et al. Preventive effect of aripiprazole once-monthly on relapse into mood episodes in bipolar disorder: a multicenter, one-year, retrospective, mirror image studyJ Affect Disord. Published online January 30, 2024.

Investigating Potential Biomarkers for Suicide Attempts in Bipolar Disorder
This study investigated DNA methylation patterns as potential biomarkers for suicide attempts in individuals with bipolar disorder (BD). Epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) identified immune-related genes with differential methylation between individuals with BD who had and did not have a history of suicide attempt. Integrating methylation data with clinical interviews showed promising accuracy in predicting suicide attempt risk.

The investigators concluded that, “Our results provide novel insight to the role of immune system functioning in suicide attempt and BD and also suggest that integrating information from multiple levels of analysis holds promise to improve risk assessment for suicide attempt in adults with BD.”


Mirza S, Lima CNC, Del Favero-Campbell A, et al. Blood epigenome-wide association studies of suicide attempt in adults with bipolar disorderTransl Psychiatry. 2024;14(1):70.

Note: This Research Roundup was prepared with the assistance of ChatGPT.

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