(NaturalPath) According to a new study out of Brazil, researchers found that the blood of bipolar patients is toxic to brain cells and may affect the connectivity ability of neurons. The severe and complex mental illness affects two percent of the world population and is characterized by alternating episodes of mania and depression. It usually surfaces in an individual’s early twenties.

Physicians have started to label these patients as either early or late stage bipolar patients. It’s not about how long they’ve had the disease, but more about the progression, including the frequency and severity of the episodes. There isn’t currently a cure for Bipolar Disease (BD), but psychotherapy and prescription medications such as antipsychotics, mood stabilizers and benzodiazepines may alleviate symptoms.

Changes occur in the brain of these bipolar patients including a reduction in volume and neuroprogession that is normally associated with learning, memory, and even recovery from brain damage. However, in the brain of someone who has BD, that same process is associated with loss of neuron connections and clinical and neurocognitive deterioration.

A previous study linked the recurrent mood episodes with blood levels of several markers related to inflammation, oxidative stress and neurotrphins (proteins that promote neuron growth and survival).

The current study found that having these episodes was ultimately bad for your body.

“Our results indicate that the blood of BD patients is toxic to brain cells and affects the connectivity ability of neurons. Considering our previous knowledge on the association between mood episodes and blood toxicity, we believe that the more episodes a patient has, the more cellular components are produced that impair the brain’s ability to deal with environmental changes, inflammation and stress,” said one researcher.

raziRazi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.

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