Cortical glutathione levels in young people with bipolar disorder: a pilot study using magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

TitleCortical glutathione levels in young people with bipolar disorder: a pilot study using magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsGodlewska BR, Yip SW, Near J, Goodwin GM, Cowen PJ
JournalPsychopharmacology (Berl)
Volume231
Issue2
Pagination327-32
Date Published2014 Jan
ISSN1432-2072
KeywordsAspartic Acid, Biomarkers, Bipolar Disorder, Case-Control Studies, Female, Functional Neuroimaging, gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, Glutamic Acid, Glutathione, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Male, Occipital Lobe, Pilot Projects, Prefrontal Cortex, Young Adult
Abstract

RATIONALE: Glutathione (GSH) is a key scavenger for cellular free radicals, and patients with bipolar disorder may have lowered GSH levels in plasma and in post-mortem brain tissue.OBJECTIVES: The objective of the current study was to use magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to measure cortical GSH levels in young people with bipolar disorder to determine if lowered GSH might be a useful biomarker of vulnerability to the illness.METHODS: We studied 13 patients with DSM-IV bipolar disorder and 11 healthy age-matched controls using proton MRS in conjunction with the SPECIAL acquisition technique. Voxels were placed in prefrontal and occipital cortex. All patients were clinically euthymic at the time of study and unmedicated. GSH and other relevant neurometabolites were measured relative to creatinine.RESULTS: There was no difference in GSH levels between bipolar participants and controls in either prefrontal or occipital cortex. Similarly, participants showed no difference from controls in other measured cortical metabolites including γ-aminobutyric acid, glutamate and N-acetylaspartate.CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study suggests that levels of cortical GSH are unlikely to be a useful trait biomarker of bipolar disorder in young people with a history of relatively mild mood instability at an early stage of illness. Lowered GSH levels may be relevant to bipolar pathophysiology in more severely ill patients, particular those with significant current mood disturbance.

DOI10.1007/s00213-013-3244-0
Alternate JournalPsychopharmacology (Berl.)
PubMed ID23955702
Grant List / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom