Triacetyluridine (TAU) Decreases Depressive Symptoms and Increases Brain pH in Bipolar Patients

J. Eric Jensen, Melissa Daniels, Charlotte Haws, Nicolas R. Bolo, In Kyoon Lyoo, Sujung J. Yoon, Bruce M. Cohen, Andrew L. Stoll, James R. Rusche, Perry F. Renshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Eleven patients with bipolar depression were given doses of up to 18 g per day of triacetyluridine (TAU) over 6 weeks to test the effect of uridine on symptoms of depression via Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS; Asberg, Montgomery, Perris, Schalling, & Sedvall, 1978) scores and on cellular bioenergetics using phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (31P-MRSI). All patients and comparison participants (n = 9) completed baseline 31P-MRSI scans, and 9 patients completed posttherapy scans. The percentage changes for MADRS scores (Week 2, -23.8; Week 3, -34.9; Week 4, -42.5) and the time effects of TAU on MADRS scores (Week 2, z = -2.07, p = .039; Week 3, z = -4.28, p < .001; Week 4, z = -4.54, p < .001) may reflect TAU effects on early symptom improvement. TAU responders (patients who had a 50% or greater reduction in MADRS scores from baseline at any time) demonstrated a significant difference from nonresponders in pH changes from baseline (effect size = 150). These results suggest that TAU treatment may decrease symptoms of depression and improve mitochondrial functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-206
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • bipolar disorder
  • brain
  • hydrogen-ion concentration (pH)
  • phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy (P-MRS)
  • triacetyluridine (TAU)


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