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.