Bipolar Spectrum Disorder May Be Associated With Family History of Diseases

Sermin Kesebir, Merve Iris Koc, Ahmet Yosmaoglu


Background: This study aims at investigating into the presence of family history of diabetes, ischemic heart disease, thyroid disease, cancer, cerebrovascular disease, and epilepsy in bipolar patients.

Methods: Totally 1,148 patients admitted to our outpatient unit between January 2018 and January 2020, who were diagnosed with bipolar disorder according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-V), from whom informed consent was obtained, were cross-sectionally and consecutively evaluated. Each patient was questioned regarding a family history of diabetes, ischemic heart disease, thyroid disease, cancer (gastrointestinal, breast and prostate cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma), cerebrovascular disease and epilepsy in first- and second-degree relatives.

Results: Diabetes, ischemic heart disease, cancer, cerebrovascular disease and epilepsy were more common in the family histories than in bipolar patients. A strong correlation was found between family history positive for epilepsy and bipolar disorder with psychotic symptoms. Also, a correlation was found between family history for diabetes and seasonal course and family history positive for thyroid disease and comorbid anxiety disorder.

Conclusions: This study is the first to investigate into the frequency of physical diseases in the family histories of bipolar patients. Current therapies target the association between common leading pathways and symptoms whereas it is the association between stress and neural circuits that underlie the pathophysiology that should be targeted.

J Clin Med Res. 2020;12(4):251-254


Bipolar disorder; Family history; Inflammation; Autoimmunity; Diabetes; Vascular disease; Cancer; Epilepsy

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