Increased neurotrophin-3 in drug-free subjects with bipolar disorder during manic and depressive episodes
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Bipolar disorder (BD) has been increasingly associated with abnormalities in neuroplasticity. Previous studies demonstrated that neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) plays a role in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. The influence of medication in these studies has been considered a limitation. Thus, studies with drug-free vs. medicated patients are necessary to evaluate the role of medication in serum NT-3 levels. About 10 manic and 10 depressive drug-free, and 10 manic and 10 depressive medicated patients with BD type I were matched with 20 controls for sex and age. Patients were assessed using SCID-I, YMRS and HDRS. Serum NT-3 levels in drug-free and medicated patients is increased when compared with controls (2.51+/-0.59, 2.56+/-0.44 and 1.97+/-0.33, respectively, p<0.001 for drug-free/medicated vs. control). Serum NT-3 levels do not differ between medicated and drug-free patients. When analyzing patients according to mood states, serum NT-3 levels are increased in both manic and depressive episodes, as compared with controls (2.47+/-0.43, 2.60+/-0.59 and 1.97+/-0.33, respectively, p<0.001 for manic/depressive patients vs. controls). There is no difference in serum BDNF between manic and depressive patients. Results suggest that increased serum NT-3 levels in BD are likely to be associated with the pathophysiology of manic and depressive symptoms.
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