Tags: genetic | bipolar | disorder

Is Bipolar Disorder Genetic?

Friday, 12 Oct 2012 11:03 AM


Scientists have discovered several key genetic factors that significantly raise the risk of bipolar disorder, a finding that could point the way to new diagnosis and treatment options.
The discovery, by researchers from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute, identified small variations in a number of genes that are closely linked to the mental illness that affects nearly six million Americans.
"Using samples from some 3,400 individuals, we identified several new variants in genes closely associated with bipolar disorder," said Scripps Florida Professor Ron Davis, who led the new study, published in the journal Translational Psychiatry.
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Doctors have long known that bipolar disorder runs in families; children with a bipolar parent or sibling are four to six times more likely to develop the illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
For the new study, researchers identified variations in 29 genes found in the two common types of bipolar disorder — bipolar disorder I (the most common form and the most severe) and bipolar disorder II. Genes from a total of 1,172 individuals with bipolar disorder I; 516 individuals with bipolar disorder II; and 1,728 people without the condition were analyzed.
Davis noted that the defective genes were found in the part of the brain associated with learning and memory, decision making and motivation, which could point the way to developing new treatments that target this region of the brain.
The study was funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health.
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Several key genetic factors significantly raise the risk of bipolar disorder, new research shows.
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2012-03-12
Friday, 12 Oct 2012 11:03 AM
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