September 5, 2006

Accelerating the Hunt for Bipolar Disorder Genes

The University of Michigan and John Hopkins University are working together to expand the Prechter Bipolar Genetic Repository in hopes of significantly advancing genetic research on bipolar disorder.

The two universities will combine research efforts on bipolar genetics - and combine their stockpiles of biological samples from bipolar patients and their families. They will then make the entire collection of samples available as a shared resource to researchers anywhere who are searching for clues to bipolar's inherited traits.

A total of 1,500 blood and cell samples from 140 families affected by bipolar disorder will be sent to Michigan from John Hopkins; DNA samples will be made for both labs to study.

The effort will greatly expand the Prechter Bipolar Genetics Repository, which since 2005 has been used by U-M researchers and colleagues at Stanford University and Cornell University. The Prechter Repository is funded by the U-M’s Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund, founded by Waltraud "Wally" Prechter in an ongoing effort to conquer the disease that took her husband's life.
The new effort ultimately aims to improve diagnosis and treatment for bipolar patients and their family members. Specifically, research performed using Prechter Repository’s samples will help scientists understand which genetic variations make people susceptible to developing the disease, and what genetic characteristics tend to correlate with the severity of the disease or response to treatment over time.

University of Michigan Health System
www.med.umich.edu

Prechter Bipolar Genetic Repository
http://www.hcpfmd.org/

For more information on the Prechter Bipolar Genetics Repository, and the need for more patients and families to volunteer samples of their blood and DNA, call 1-877 UM-GENES
(1-877-864-3637), or e-mail bpresearch@umich.edu

Read Full Press release:
"Accelerating the Hunt for Bipolar Disorder Genes" UMHS August 7th 2006.

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