Objectives. Uric acid regulates metabolic processes and influences neurotransmission and neuromodulation in the central nervous system. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the role of uric acid as part of the purinergic system in the bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the serum uric acid concentration in patients suffering from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia during both acute episodes and in remissions.
Material and methods. The study involved 56 patients (25 men, 31 women), aged 45 ± 15 years. There were 19 subjects with bipolar depression, 15 subjects with bipolar mania, and 22 subjects with schizophrenia. In all patients, detailed psychometric assessment was performed. Uricacid concentration was assessed both during acute episodes and in remissions.
Results. There were no differences in uric acid levels between the three groups neither during acute episodes nor in remissions. Also, among the groups there were no differences between acute episodes and in remission. However, a group of patients had an abnormally high level of uric acid both during acute episodes and in remission: in depression: 37%, in schizophrenia: 18%, and in mania: 13%.
Conclusions. Although we were not able to find differences in uric acid concentrations between bipolar mania, bipolar depression and schizophrenia and, within each group, between acute episodes and remissions, disturbances in purinergic system in these illnesses cannot be ruled out. A significance of hyperuricemia, occurring in more than 1/3 of bipolar depressed patients, for pathophysiology and treatment requires further studies.