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August 2, 2007

Los Angeles Bipolar Disorder Genetics Study for Latino Community - Opportunity to Participate

We recently received the following letter about a bipolar disorder genetics research study taking place that the University of California Los Angeles - and we encourage you to read about it and participate if you can. The information is repeated at the bottom of the page in Spanish for people who prefer that language.

Briefly, the purpose of this study is to find genes that make people more likely to suffer from bipolar disorder.
Inclusion criteria:
-Patient with previous hospitalization or clinical diagnosis of bipolar disorder and/or schizoaffective, bipolar type.
-Onset before age 50
-Has a sibling with same diagnosis who is willing to participate
-Male or female 15-85 years of age
-Has at least 2 grandparents of Mexican or Central American descent

Exclusion Criteria:
-Severe substance abuse or medical illness which obscures diagnosis of bipolar disorder
-No sibling with psychiatric disorder
-Unable or unwilling to contribute a blood sample and interview

The study consists of the following procedures at one or more visits for each family member who participates:
-Diagnostic Interview regarding history of mental health problems of the patient and their family ($50)
-Tests to measure cognitive abilities ($25)
-Medical record review on past and current psychiatric treatment
-Blood samples will be drawn for genetic testing ($25)

The study consists of a diagnostic interview and blood sample for genetics tests.

For more information, please contact:

Ricardo Mendoza, M.D. - Telephone Number: 310.222.1800
Deborah Flores, M.D. - Telephone Number: 310.222.3133
Lorraine Garcia-Teague, Ph.D. - Telephone Number: 310.222.5260

Los Angeles BioMedical Research Institute
IRB NUMBER: 11260-01R2

Background Information

"Our project received funding on August 12, 2005 to investigate the "Genetics of Bipolar Disorder in Latino Populations".

The Principal investigator is Ricardo Mendoza, MD. Co-investigators: Deborah Flores, MD; Alex Kopelowics, MD; and Lynn Marcinko, PhD. The proposed research is a five-year grant funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

An international consortium of psychiatric investigators from Costa Rica; San Antonio, Texas; Los Angels, CA; San Diego, CA; and Mexico City, has been assembled to accomplish this task of uncovering the susceptibility gene(s) for bipolar disorder. The intent is to map bipolar predisposition genes that are prominent in the Latin American population, with a special focus on the Latin Americans of Mexican and Central American descent because this population is now the largest single ethnic group in the United States.

Additionally, this population has been largely untapped in previous genetic studies of Bipolar disorder and has more individuals per family than other ethnic groups and has genetic isolates which may aid in the fine-mapping of susceptibility loci identified from initial genome screens. And since we are recruiting families (affected siblings and non-affected siblings) to draw blood from and interview, this is important.

The methodological design of the protocol is fairly straightforward and except for the final year of the study, the research is largely a recruitment study. The methodology does not include a form of treatment, therefore, risks associated with the research are minimal. Further, interference with on-going and current treatment should not be affected.

Latino families will be identified that are characterized by having at least two children that are afflicted with bipolar disorder. The diagnosis will be carefully assessed utilizing the Diagnostic Interview for Genetic Studies (DIGS), a rigorous structured clinical interview. Also, utilizing another structured clinical interview, an additional, non-affected family member will be asked a series of questions aimed at corroborating the history obtained from those suffering with the illness along with medical record abstraction. A database will be constructed without the use of patient identifiers for confidentiality. The blood of several family members, including both individuals affected with bipolar disorder along with those non-affected, will be drawn and shipped to a national repository at the NIMH.

The purpose of this research is to find the genes implicated in bipolar disorder. Adult men and women who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and have a sibling with the same diagnosis are needed. The immediate family will be asked to take part.

El objectivo del estudio es la identificación de los genes implicados en el trastorno bipolar.
Necesitamos mujeres y hombres diagnosticado con el trastorno bipolar que tengan un(a)
hermano(a) con el mismo diagnostico. La participación de la familia inmediata será

El estudio consiste de una entrevista diagnostica y una muestra de sangre por examen genético.


Para solicitor mas información, favor de llamar a:

Ricardo Mendoza, M.D. 31Ricardo - Tele: 310-222-1800
Deborah Flores, M.D. - Tele: 310-222-3133
Lorraine Garcia-Teague, Ph.D - Tele: 310-222-5260


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