Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bipolar Disorder (BD) has been conceptualized as both a cyclic and a progressive disorder. Mechanisms involved in neuroprogression in BD remain largely unknown although several non-mutually exclusive models have been proposed as explanatory frameworks. In the present paper, we propose that the pathophysiological changes observed in BD (e.g. brain structural alterations, cognitive deficits, oxidative stress imbalance, amyloid metabolism, immunological deregulation, immunosenescence, neurotrophic deficiencies and telomere shortening) converge on a model of accelerated aging (AA). Aging can be understood as a multidimensional process involving physical, neuropsychological, and social changes, which can be highly variable between individuals. Determinants of successful aging (e.g environmental and genetic factors), may also confer differential vulnerability to components of BD pathophysiology and contribute to the clinical presentation of BD. Herein we discuss how the understanding of aging and senescence can contribute to the search for new and promising molecular targets to explain and ameliorate neuroprogression in BD. We also present the strengths and limitations of this concept.