A very interesting study, of the Deakin University School of Medicine, in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, published online Nov. 9 in The Lancet Psychiatry, shows that the changes in the buff and conditions of mania in patients with bipolar disorder, is associated with high levels C-reactive protein (CRP), a known inflammatory biomarker
Currently there are no reliable biomarkers for bipolar disorder, although evidence indicates the CRP as a possible candidate. According to the ‘ “immune hypothesis”, an increase of immune activation may be associated with a number of psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder.
For the meta-analysis and systematic review, the authors identified 27 studies that included 2,161 patients with bipolar disorder and 81.932 healthy control persons.
The evaluation of the data relating to the concentrations of CRP showed that for people with bipolar disorder, CRP levels were higher during periods of depression and, more significantly, during the craze.
The increase in CRP concentrations, were not related to the severity of symptoms in mania or depression; however, concentrations were moderately decreased after the resolution of a manic episode and were down slightly after a depressive episode.
Despite psychiatric medicines have been associated with increased concentrations of CRP, the analysis showed that in patients taking medications for mania and depression, CRP concentrations were lower than those patients who did not receive the drug.
These results are consistent with previous evidence indicating benefits in the treatment of certain psychiatric disorders with anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and statins.
High levels of CRP are a well established marker of cardiovascular risk, and the use of drugs such as statins decrease CRP levels and as a result the incidence of myocardial infarction and stroke.
This demonstrates accordingly as bipolar disorder is also associated with an increased cardiovascular risk, which would be another reason for the routine evaluation of PCR in this disorder.