Shortened telomere length in bipolar disorder: A comparison of the early and late stages of disease

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Objective: Bipolar disorder (BD) has been associated with increased rates of age-related diseases, such as type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disorders. Several biological findings have been associated with age-related disorders, including increased oxidative stress, inflammation, and telomere shortening. The objective of this study was to compare telomere length among participants with BD at early and late stages and age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Methods: Twenty-six euthymic subjects with BD and 34 healthy controls were recruited. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood and mean telomere length was measured using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Results: Telomere length was significantly shorter in both the early and late subgroups of BD subjects when compared to the respective controls (p = 0.002 and p = 0.005, respectively). The sample size prevented additional subgroup analyses, including potential effects of medication, smoking status, and lifestyle. Conclusion: This study is concordant with previous evidence of telomere shortening in BD, in both early and late stages of the disorder, and supports the notion of accelerated aging in BD.




Barbé-Tuana, F. M., Parisi, M. M., Panizzutti, B. S., Fries, G. R., Grun, L. K., Guma, F. T., … Rosa, A. R. (2016). Shortened telomere length in bipolar disorder: A comparison of the early and late stages of disease. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria, 38(4), 281–286.

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