Uric Acid Increases During Mania

At the 65th Annual Scientific Convention of the Society of Biological Psychiatry this year, Giacomo Salvadore reported that significantly higher levels of uric acid are found in patients with mania compared with normal controls.

Editor’s note:  This study was particularly interesting because there was a highly significant difference between patients and controls, with very few values overlapping. The data suggest the possibility that uric acid may be a useful biological marker for mania, and is one that should be studied in childhood-onset bipolar illness to determine whether uric acid is a marker for mania in children as well.

Allopurinol, a widely used treatment for gout that reduces levels of uric acid in the blood, is an effective antimanic agent (based on data from two placebo-controlled studies, one by Machado-Vieira et al. and one by Akhondzadeh et al.). The new data on uric acid raise the possibility that high levels of uric acid may be a specific predictor of responsiveness to Allopurinol, although this hypothesis has not yet been explored.

In an article by Chung et al. just published in Psychiatry Research, it was reported that in a very large epidemiological study in Taiwan, patients with bipolar disorder have increased risk of gout.