The seroprevalence of antithyroid peroxidase antibodies in bipolar families and bipolar twins: Results from two longitudinal studies

G. Snijders*, L. de Witte, E. Mesman, S. Kemner, R. Vonk, R. Brouwer, W. A. Nolen, H. A. Drexhage, M. H. J. Hillegers

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Previous studies of our group among bipolar offspring and bipolar twins showed significant higher prevalence's and levels of antithyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO-Abs) in offspring and co-twins (without a mood disorder) compared to controls, suggesting that TPO-Abs might be considered as vulnerability factor (trait marker) for BD development.

Objectives: Here we elucidate, in the same cohorts, but now after 12- and 6-year follow-up, whether TPO-abs should be considered as a 'trait' marker for BD. The present study aims to investigate whether TPO-Abs (1) are stable over time, (2) are associated with lithium-exposure, (3) share a common genetic background with BD and are related to psychopathology.

Results: In bipolar offspring and twins, the prevalence of TPO-Abs is stable over time (r(s) = .72 p <.001 resp. r(s) = .82, p

Conclusions: Although our results show a trend toward an increased inherited risk of the co-occurrence of BD and thyroid autoimmunity, large-scale studies can only draw final conclusions. Nationwide epidemiological and GWAS studies reach such numbers and support the view of a possible common (autoimmune) etiology of severe mood disorders and chronic recurrent infections and autoimmunity, including thyroid autoimmunity.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Bipolar Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20-Jan-2017


  • Thyroid peroxidase antibodies
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Offspring
  • Twins
  • Prevalence

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