Malondialdehyde and bipolar disorder: A short comprehensive review of available literature

Alice Caldiroli, Anna Maria Auxilia, Enrico Capuzzi, Massimo Clerici, Massimiliano Buoli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: The pathogenetic mechanisms of Bipolar Disorder (BD) have not been totally clarified. Oxidative stress seems to be involved in the etiology of BD, and malondialdehyde (MDA) represents a candidate biomarker for monitoring this aspect in different medical conditions including mood disorders. This article has the objective to critically summarize the available data about the association between MDA and BD. Methods: A research in Pubmed, PsycINFO and Isi Web of Knowledge was fulfilled to identify studies in which MDA levels were measured in BD patients for the purpose of securing a comprehensive review concerning the issue. Results: We detected 20 articles that satisfied the inclusion criteria: most of them observed higher MDA levels (or Thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances-TBARS) in BD patients compared to healthy controls (HC), although there are some contrasting results, depending in particular on the phase of illness or the inclusion criteria or the methodological differences. Limitations: We included studies, exclusively in English, that used different laboratory methods to measure MDA. Conclusions: The analysed articles suggest that MDA or TBARS are increased in BD patients with respect to HC, thus supporting the hypothesis that MDA may be a promising and potential biomarker to monitor the course of BD, although further studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-37
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Biomarker
  • Bipolar Disorder (BD)
  • Malondialdehyde (MDA)
  • Thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Malondialdehyde and bipolar disorder: A short comprehensive review of available literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this