Bipolar Disorder (BD) is a severe recurrent affective mood disorder characterized by a wide range of lifelong mood swings, varying between depressive and manic states. BD affects more than 1% of the world’s population irrespective of nationality, ethnic origin, or socioeconomic status and is one of the main causes of disability among young people, leading to cognitive and functional impairment and raised mortality, particularly death by suicide. Trace elements play a vital role in many biochemical and physiological processes. Compelling evidence shows that element toxicity might play a crucial role in the onset and progression of neurodegenerative disorders, but their involvement in mood disorders has been scarcely studied. In the present investigation, we determined the concentration of 26 elements in the serum of BD patients before and after treatment and in postmortem brain samples from BD patients and compared them with matched controls. The only element that was reduced significantly in the serum following treatment was vanadium (V). Furthermore, the concentration of Al, B, Cu, K, Mg and V were significantly lower in the pre-frontal cortex of BD patients compared with those of the controls. A comparison of Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients between the elements in the serum and brain of BD patients and control groups pointed to boron and aluminum as being involved in the disease. These results suggest that there is a disturbance in the elements’ homeostasis and the inter-elements’ relationship in the brain of BD patients and advocate a thorough examination of the possible involvement of chemical elements in different stages of the disease.
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- bipolar disorder
- chemical elements