Thursday, March 16, 2017

Abnormal Energy Metabolism in Bipolar Disorder


I have long maintained that bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are like Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Now there is new evidence in favor of this. I have already published papers demonstrating that glucose metabolism is slow in the brain in schizophrenia. This is also true in bipolar disorder. Japanese reserachers have reported abnormal energy metabolism in bipolar disorder which they atribute to mitochondrial dysfunction.

The work on schizophrenia is discussed in the citations in the bibliography. My own articles are available free full text on the Internet.

Mitochondrial Dysfunction

According to T. Kato of the Laboratory for Molecular Dynamics of Mental Disorders Brain Science Institute, RIKEN Saitama 351-0198, Japan, bipolar illness is caused by “mitochondrial dysfunction”. If this is true, and I believe that Kato is right, then the cause of the mitochondrial dysfunction needs to be established. My theory is that amino acids are flooding the cell, including the mitochondria, which are in the cytoplasm. This causes the cell to burn amino acids for fuel instead of glucose. This can cause disastrous problems in the brain.

“Thus, development of new mood stabilizers acting on mitochondrial function might be warranted.” T. Kato

“Altered energy metabolism” was reported by Kato. This is a finding that has been reported for years by Russian workers in schizophrenia. The Russians do not appear to use the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. They classify the various forms of mental illness into different types of schizophrenia. Their classifications of the different types of schizophrenia aree different from ours.

Energy Metabolism

“Phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopic studies in bipolar disorder revealed altered brain energy metabolism resembling that of chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia (CPEO).” T. Kato

“Mood disorder is one characteristic symptom in several families of CPEO caused by mutations …” according to Kato. Kato found “impaired energy metabolism in the brain detected by magnetic resonance spectroscopy” in bipolar disorder but has not yet investigated schizophrenia.

“Further study of mitochondrial dysfunction in bipolar disorder is expected to be useful for the development of new mood stabilisers.” Kato


The Russian research on schizophrenia may reflect disturbances in bipolar disorder since they appear to merge the two diseases. Kolomeets reported local astrogliosis in schizophrenia in 2008. This was an abnormality of the astrocytes. Gliosis tends to appear in toxic diseases. This suggests an unknown toxic factor as possibly causing schizophrenia.


Although Kato favors the development of new drugs, my own theory favors orthomolecular or metabolic treatment. If amino acids are flooding the cells, a diet very low in amino acids would be logical.

There is a theory that fish oil should be used in bipolar disorder. My own experience is that fish oil, although safe and healthy, does not work.







6. Kato T. Mitochondrial dysfunction in bipolar disorder: from 31P-magnetic resonance spectroscopic findings to their molecular mechanisms. Int Rev Neurobiol. 2005;63:21-40.

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