Memantine, a noncompetitive N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonist with a mood-stabilizing effect, and an association between bipolar disorder and proinflammatory cytokine levels have been reported. Whether adding-on memantine would reduce cytokine levels and is more effective than valproic acid (VPA) alone in bipolar II disorder was investigated. A randomized, double-blind, controlled, 12-week study was conducted. Patients undergoing regular VPA treatments were randomly assigned to a group: VPA + memantine (5 mg/d) (n = 106) or VPA + placebo (n = 108). The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) and Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) were used to evaluate clinical response. Symptom severity, plasma tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), interleukin 6 (IL-6), IL-8, and IL-1 levels were examined during weeks 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, and 12. To adjust within-subject dependence over repeated assessments, multiple linear regressions with generalized estimating equation methods were used to examine the therapeutic effect. Tumor necrosis factor α levels were significantly lower in the VPA + memantine group than in the VPA + placebo group (P = 0.013). Posttreatment HDRS and YMRS scores decreased significantly in both groups, but not significant, nor was the other between-group cytokine level difference pretreatment and posttreatment. The HDRS score changes were significantly associated with IL-6 (P = 0.012) and IL-1 (P = 0.005) level changes and changes in YMRS score changes with TNF-α (P = 0.005) level changes. Treating bipolar II depression with VPA + memantine may improve the plasma TNF-α level. However, adding-on memantine may not improve clinical symptoms or cytokine levels other than TNF-α. Clinical symptoms may be correlated with certain cytokines.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Pharmacology (medical)