August 29, 2005

Chromosomes Linked to Bipolar Disorder

There have been several studies over the years focused on identifying the genes responsible for bipolar disorder. Recent research in Canada, Scotland, and the US have found multiple chromosomes that give one a genetic predisposition to develop bipolar disorder. This article covers three of the studies that have given us insight into this complicated link - while the information is very technical, the general message the average reader should get from this is that significant progress is being made to identify all the genes that predispose a person to developing bipolar disorder.

The first study shows that Chromosome 12A has a connection to bipolar disorder. This Canadian study also stated that chromosomes 2, 5, 7, 9, 10, 17 and 20," were of potential interest, but not to the degree that chromosome 12A is. Their initial findings showed an interest in chromosomal region 12q23 -q24. After adding an additional 18 families for analysis the researchers determined a susceptibility for bipolar disorder on chromosome 12q24.

"Shink and colleagues published their study in Molecular Psychiatry (A genome-wide scan points to a susceptibility locus for bipolar disorder on chromosome 12. Mol Psychiatry, 2005;10(6):545-552). For additional information, contact N. Barden, CHU Laval, Research Center, CHUQ Pavillon, 2705 Blvd. Laurier, Quebec City, PQ G1V 4G2, Canada"

In the second study, done in Scotland, a susceptibility was found on chromosome 1q42. The susceptibility was found with the help of 13 families and this was followed up by using 22 families that were affected by schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. "Macgregor and colleagues published the results of their research in Molecular Psychiatry (A genome scan and follow-up study identify a bipolar disorder susceptibility locus on chromosome 1q42. Mol Psychiatr, 2004;9(12):1083-1090). For additional information, contact S. Macgregor, University Edinburgh, Institute Cell Animal & Population Biology, Kings Bldg, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland"

In a study done in the US, a link between chromosome 21q22 and bipolar disorder was found. Allele 2 was found to be a significant area, although it seems as if the results were not definitive. "Stopkova and colleagues published their study in Psychiatry Research (Analysis of SYNJ1, a candidate gene for 21q22 linked bipolar disorder: a replication study. Psychiat Res, 2004;127(1-2):157-161).

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