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What is leptin?

Leptin is a hormone released from the fat cells in adipose tissue that sends signals to the hypothalamus in the brain that help regulate food intake and energy expenditure. The primary role of leptin is to help the body maintain its weight. It also modulates insulin sensitivity, with higher levels of leptin promoting insulin resistance and perpetuating a positive feedback loop. Studies have been conducted assessing leptin levels in the peripheral blood of people with bipolar disorder, with conflicting results.

What is the evidence for changes in leptin in people with bipolar disorder?

Moderate quality evidence finds no differences in leptin levels between people with bipolar disorder and controls, regardless of bipolar mood state. However, moderate to low quality evidence shows a large effect of increased leptin levels post-treatment with antipsychotics, particularly olanzapine and clozapine.

November 2019

Last updated at: 1:07 am, 24th November 2019
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