How Mental Illness is Linked to Metabolic Dysfunction
Mental illness is a risk factor for metabolic disease, but the mechanisms underlying this link are poorly understood. A new study in Biological Psychiatry reports that a specific form of cellular stress may be the link.
Specifically, the researchers found that patients with bipolar disorder have higher levels of oxidative stress, a specific form of cellular stress, in their brains and blood.
Oxidative stress is a form of cellular stress that can damage proteins and DNA and is thought to contribute to several chronic conditions, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The researchers also found that patients with bipolar disorder have higher levels of inflammation in their blood and that these higher levels of inflammation are associated with higher levels of oxidative stress.
The findings suggest that oxidative stress may be a mechanism by which mental illness contributes to metabolic disease. The findings also highlight the importance of inflammation in the link between mental illness and metabolic disease.
The study was led by Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry.