October 13, 2009

Researchers find impact of single gene on Bipolar Disorder - Question use of Lithium for Children

Summary A new study suggests that a single gene, called GSK-3, controls the signals that determine how many neurons actually end up composing the brain. This has important implications for patients with neuropsychiatric illness, as links have recently been drawn between GSK-3 and schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorder. In populating the growing brain, neural stem cells must strike a delicate balance between two key processes - proliferation, in which the cells multiply to provide plenty of starting materials - and differentiation, in which those materials evolve into functioning neurons. If the stem cells proliferate too much, they could grow out Read more...
Posted by Michael Lane at 1:38 PM | Comments (9)

September 15, 2009

Yale study increases understanding of bipolar disorder

Damage to the brain caused by chronic stress or lead poisoning can be repaired by blocking a key molecular pathway, Yale University researchers report in the September 7-11 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Rats subjected to chronic stress develop damage to the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain crucial to working memory, impulse control and the ability to stay focused on tasks. Long-term stress triggers excessive activity of a family of enzymes called protein kinase C, which in turn damages the cytoskeleton of neurons and hinders their ability transmit information. This loss of the Read more...
Posted by Michael Lane at 11:56 AM | Comments (2)

December 13, 2007

Bipolar Disorder Improves With Routine Sleep Patterns?

Researchers that sleep is connected to bipolar disorder. That is, past research has shown that bipolar patients have difficulty with sleep and often suffer from sleep-related problems. Now new research is showing that routine sleep schedules can actually be beneficial to the outcomes of bipolar disorder. A new study which appears in this month's issue of the journal, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ANCP), examined two groups of adult bipolar patients receiving different treatment therapies and found that the group of patients who participated in interpersonal and rhythm therapies--these therapies involved the patients monitoring their daily routines--had longer periods without mania Read more...
Posted by szwriter at 1:56 PM | Comments (4)

July 20, 2007

New Study Links Bipolar Disorder With Brain Tissue Loss

People with bipolar disorder, also called manic depression, suffer from an accelerated shrinking of their brain, researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found. The study shows for the first time that bipolar disorder, a condition characterized by periods of depression and periods of mania, is associated with a reduction in brain tissue and proves that the changes get progressively worse with each relapse. This discovery has implications not only for the way we research the disease, but may also impact the way this condition is treated. The findings, published in the Journal of Biological Psychiatry, show that the loss Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 8:19 AM | Comments (10)

April 12, 2007

Lithium Helps Bipolar Brain Grow Gray Matter

UCLA professors Carrie Bearden and Paul Thompson have demonstrated that lithium increases the amount of gray matter in the brains of patients suffering from bipolar disorder. When the UCLA neuroimaging researchers compared the brains of bipolar patients on lithium with those of people without the disorder and those of bipolar patients not on lithium, they discovered that the volume of gray matter in the brains of those patients who were taking lithium was as much as 15 percent greater in areas that are critical for attention and controlling emotions. This discovery may explain why lithium is of value to people Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 12:01 AM | Comments (4)

January 5, 2007

Plan for New Research on Genetics and Bipolar Disorder

The Zucker Hillside Hospital campus of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and a team of researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) plan to collaborate on research to identify key genes in the onset of Bipolar Disorder. The studies will last 2 to 3 years, and will focus on early onset Bipolar Disorder by focusing on children diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and their parents. The research group will be headed by James Watson, PhD, a noble prize winner who co-discovered the DNA molecule. Read more...
Posted by Michelle Roberts at 1:45 PM | Comments (4)

October 25, 2006

Creative people or creative brains?

A review of the book "The Creating Brain: the Neuroscience of Genius" by the well-known psychiatry researcher Nancy Andreason was recently published in the UK medical journal "The Lancet". In the review Steven Rose notes that Dr. Andreason is "one of the developers of the US psychiatrists' bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and the author of some accessible books on the neuroscience of mental illness. Now, in keeping with the neurosciences' onward march into territory previously regarded as outside their terrain of competence, Andreasen has turned her attention from the mentally distressed to the mentally super-productive. Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 12:36 PM | Comments (1)

July 13, 2006

Overview of Genetics and Bipolar Disorder

Overview of Genetics and Bipolar Disorders The Foundation for Genetic Education and Counseling highlights the genetics of bipolar disorder, and will soon offer downloadable brochures and information packets for families, physician, and patients. View Website: The Foundation for Genetic Education and Counseling: Bipolar Disorder (www.fgec.org) More on this: Genetic Counseling for Bipolar Disorder Related Stories and More on Genetics of Bipolar: The Genetics of Bipolar Disorder Hunting for Bipolar Disorder Genes Bipolar Disorder Causes Read more...
Posted by Michelle Roberts at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)

September 16, 2005

Bipolar Disorder Linked to 2 Chromosomes

There have been several publicized studies that have claimed to find the chromosomes that cause bipolar disorder to occur. Many of these studies have come out with different findings. This study is different in that it has taken the results of 11 studies and used the data involved to narrow the chromosomes down. Although no study is entirely definitive, this one seems to have taken both a large sample size and an incredible amount of data to come to their findings. An international team of 53 researchers has offered the most convincing evidence so far linking bipolar disorder, also known Read more...
Posted by at 11:10 AM | Comments (2)

September 7, 2005

Course of Bipolar Disorder Inherited

New research suggests that the course of bipolar disorder may be inherited in terms of whether it was remitting or unremitting. If one has developed bipolar disorder and has a parent (with bipolar disorder) who responded well to lithium treatment and was able to completely recover from the illness, than you are likely to have the same results. "The team assessed affective disorders in 55 children aged 10 to 25 years using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-aged Children - Present and Lifetime Version. Of these, 34 had a parent with bipolar disorder who responded to lithium Read more...
Posted by at 12:16 PM | Comments (0)

September 1, 2005

MRI Brain Activation in Euthymic Bipolar Disorder

This study was titled "Abnormal fMRI Brain Activation in Euthymic Bipolar Disorder Patients During a Counting Stroop Interference Task," and was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The studies participants were 16 people with euthymic bipolar disorder and 16 mentally healthy individuals. They all had a fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) done upon them while they were doing a counting Stroop interference task. Those with bipolar disorder had a more difficult time with the task that they were asked to perform. The areas of the brain that were activated were very different for those with bipolar disorder in comparison Read more...
Posted by at 1:17 PM | Comments (0)

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 Read more...
Posted by at 12:15 PM | Comments (1)

August 17, 2005

Cerebellar Abnormalities in BP Disorder

A recent MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) analysis has found that those with multiple-episode bipolar disorder are at higher risk for "abnormalities in the posterior-inferior cerebellar". This area of one's brain has recently been found to have an effect on mood regulation. These neurons extend to several areas of the brain that in turn modulate one's mood. Researchers therefore decided to examine patients with bipolar disorder using an MRI to look at the cerebellar vermal's part in this illness. There were 18 participants with a first-episode of bipolar disorder and 21 had multiple episoder bipolar disorder. There were 32 mentally healthy Read more...
Posted by at 12:46 PM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2005

Role of Serotonin in Modulating Circadian Rhythm

Mood Lighting: Penn Researchers Determine Role of Serotonin in Modulating Circadian Rhythm (Philadelphia, PA) - Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have determined how serotonin decreases the body's sensitivity to light and that exposure to constant darkness leads to a decrease in serotonin levels in the brain of fruit flies. These findings suggest that serotonin may play a role in maintaining circadian rhythm, as well as modulating light-related disorders such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Senior author Amita Sehgal, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience at Penn and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator, and colleagues report their Read more...
Posted by at 12:32 PM | Comments (2)

July 9, 2005

Genetic Makeup of Aggression & Bipolar Disorder

Mice have long been used for studying human diseases, behavior, and our biology due to the fact that they have a surprisingly similar genetic makeup to us. Scientists have gone even farther now by studying the ability to change one's behavior due to genetic manipulation. In 2002, researchers at the University of British Columbia's Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics accidentally made a form of highly aggressive mice. The scientists unintentionally deleted a gene that influences their brain development. The absence of this gene led to the mice becoming vicious towards their caretakers as well as the other mice that Read more...
Posted by at 12:52 PM | Comments (5)

July 5, 2005

Explaining Differences in Identical Twins

For years we have wondered why identical twins, who have the same genetic composition, can sometimes end up so differently. Why is it that sometimes one twin will develop schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or cancer, and the other will remain perfectly healthy? Part of the reason is just due to unexplainable environmental factors, but there is more to it. As Wade (2005) puts it, "a whole new level of explanation has been opened up by a genetic survey showing that identical twins, as they grow older, differ increasingly in what is known as their epigenome. The term refers to natural chemical Read more...
Posted by at 1:41 PM | Comments (0)

July 3, 2005

Mania Linked Enzyme Impairs Thinking

An errant enzyme linked to bipolar disorder, in the brain's prefrontal cortex, impairs cognition under stress, an animal study shows. The disturbed thinking, impaired judgment, impulsivity, and distractibility seen in mania, a destructive phase of bipolar disorder, may be traceable to overactivity of protein kinase C (PKC), suggests the study, funded by the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the Stanley Foundation. It explains how even mild stress can worsen cognitive symptoms, as occurs in bipolar disoder, which affects two million Americans. Abnormalities in the cascade of events Read more...
Posted by at 1:38 PM | Comments (0)

July 2, 2005

Low Birth Weight a Risk for Bipolar Disorder

More evidence that below-normal fetal birth weight is a risk factor for "increased psychological stress" later in life has just been published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. Results indicated that "children born full term but weighing less than 5.5 lbs (almost 3% of the total sample) had a 50% increased risk of psychological distress in later life." The risk was not associated with premature babies (those born before 38 weeks) - just below-weight babies born at full term. In the study from the University of Bristol, Dr. Nicola Wiles and others examined data on 5572 participants in a 1950s Read more...
Posted by julia.d at 8:49 AM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2005

Bipolar May Have Genetic Link to Alpha Thalassemias

The human chromosomes have given us clues as to why we get several of the illnesses and diseases that we get today. We are getting more clues about bipolar disorder and its genetic inheritance by looking at the afflictions that can often come with it. There may be a possible link between bipolar disorder and alpha thalassemias. Alpha thalassemias is an inability to make the amount of hemoglobin that the blood in the human body needs. This leads to a reduced production of red blood cells and an increased destruction of the cells. It can lead to anemia and in Read more...
Posted by at 11:11 AM | Comments (1)

June 28, 2005

FAQ on Stem Cells

Wired magazine (a magazine that covers technology developments) has a short overview (questions and answers) on the basics of stem cells. This is valuable because researchers have already "turned stem cells into neurons, which they hope can treat people with brain disorders or spinal-cord injuries". "You probably know the difference between a stem cell and a fuel cell. But if your comprehension of stem-cell research doesn't go beyond that, you're not alone. Stem-cell science is embedded in a quagmire of science, policy and ethics that can be daunting to sort out. But anyone can learn the basics with this Wired Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 11:12 AM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2005

Type 2 Diabetes has Link to Mental Illness

Type 2 diabetes has been found to have a link to neuropsychiatric disorders. "As many as one in five children with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes may also have a neuropsychiatric disorder, according to a new study. The illnesses include depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, developmental delay, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. The research suggests that children with a neuropsychiatric disease may be at risk for type 2 diabetes, and vice versa" (Newswire Association, 2005). The exact reason for this correlation is still under speculation, but numerous theories have come out. One theory hypothesizes that the psychiatric medications that these children Read more...
Posted by at 7:30 PM | Comments (5)

MRI Shows Brain Differences

MRI's or magnetic resonance imaging now has something else that it can show us: the brain differences in those with bipolar disorder. 10 patients who had bipolar disorder and were having a manic episode were used, as well as 15 people who were healthy. "The study participants performed a "stop-signal task," in which they were instructed to respond to projected letters depending on the letter color. The test provides a measure of impulse control, Strakowski explained in an interview with Reuters Health. During the test, bipolar patients exhibited increased activation in a "distributed network of brain regions known to involve Read more...
Posted by at 6:32 PM | Comments (1)

June 18, 2005

Too Much Light is Bad for Bipolar Disorder

We have all heard of the benefits that can come from being around a lot of light, because with too little light we can sometimes develop feelings of depression. The best example of this is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Those affected by SAD relapse into depression every time we go into months that are filled with more days of darkness than light. Of course, where you live also affects when those months are and therefore, when your mood will plummet. But for those with bipolar disorder the light may affect them in a completely different way. It has been stated Read more...
Posted by at 9:26 PM | Comments (2)

May 27, 2005

More Bipolar Genetic Links Identified

Bipolar Disorder Genetic linkage to chromosome 6q identified in Caucasians It was reported this week in the American Journal of Medical Genetics that researchers have found a genetic linkage of bipolar disorder to chromosome 6q appears to be a distinctive feature of Caucasian populations. Scientists in the United States "recently reported genome-wide significant linkage to chromosome 6q for bipolar disorder, in a study of 25 Portuguese families, using the Human Mapping Assay Xba 131 (HMA10K)." "To further address the potential generalizability of these findings to other populations, we have also examined allelic heterozygosity in our subpopulations and in three reference Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 7:32 PM | Comments (4)

March 4, 2005

Childhood Bipolar

The Washington Post article discussing the possibility of overdiagnosis of bipolar disorder in children is on the web now. Its a good story - recommended for any families that are impacted. Bipolar children - Experts debate rise in the diagnosis among kids Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 3:23 AM | Comments (0)

March 1, 2005

200% Higher Bipolar Risk when you use Marijuana

The BBC News reported today on a new research study out of New Zealand that highlights the greatly increased risk of mental illness associated with Marijuana use. While the study seems to focus on schizophrenia, the research literature suggests that there is a broad spectrum of mental illnesses - including bipolar disorder and depression - that are linked to marijuana use. Moreover, research is increasingly suggesting that a number of the genes involved in the development of bipolar disorder, are shared in the development of schizophrenia. "Smoking cannabis virtually doubles the risk of developing mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, researchers Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 4:36 AM | Comments (24)

February 22, 2005

Family Tree & Bipolar Disorder

Given the significant roll that genetics play in bipolar disorder, and the significant benefits that can accrue to people who get early treatment, it makes particular sense for families where one or more people suffer from bipolar disorder to do some genetic analsysis and family tree analysis to better understand their risks and potential preventative actions (or early treatment options). Today there is a good article on The Guardian's web site on this issue (of tracking geneology for health reasons). The article suggests that: "GPs are used to asking whether heart disease or cancer runs in the family but are Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 9:50 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2004

Gene Linked to Child Bipolar

A recent study of children with manic-depressive illness (bipolar disorder) has found a gene that may confer susceptibility to this illness, as reported in September's American Journal of Psychiatry. "As recently as 10 years ago, it was not widely known that the illness existed in children," says Barbara Geller, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis. The gene, called brain-derived neurotrophic factor [BDNF], has been shown to help determine thinking and memory and the response to medications given to people who have bipolar disorder. Two studies in adults with bipolar disorder, that used similar methods, have Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 7:46 AM | Comments (3)

September 28, 2004

Brain Chemistry and Bipolar Disorder

Source: University of Michigan University of Michigan team finds evidence of brain chemistry abnormalities in bipolar disorder. U-M team finds evidence of brain chemistry abnormalities in bipolar disorder 30% higher concentration of certain signaling cells may help explain, treat "manic depression" ANN ARBOR, MI - People with bipolar disorder have an average of thirty percent more of an important class of signal-sending brain cells, according to new evidence being published by University of Michigan researchers. The finding, in the American Journal of Psychiatry, solidifies the idea that the disorder has unavoidable biological and genetic roots, and may explain why it Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 9:42 PM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2004

Valproate and Carbamazepine - Treat Acute Mania

Valproate and Carbamazepine - Treat Acute Mania but unproven in preventing mood episodes. In a recent journal article Canadian Researchers reviewed newer anticonvulsants for the treatment of bipolar disorder. The article was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, and stated the following: According to a study from Canada, "The anticonvulsants valproate and carbamazepine have efficacy in treating acute mania, but their efficacy in treating acute bipolar depression and preventing mood episodes remains uncertain. Despite this, and given their utility and widespread use, both are widely accepted as standard treatments for bipolar disorder. All the newer Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)

September 15, 2004

Bipolar 1 Gene Search Intensifies

It was reported today that the Indiana University School of Medicine has embarked on a massive search to isolate the specific gene responsible for bipolar I disorder. The School's Institute for Psychiatric Research is continuing a collaboration with the National Institute for Mental Health and 11 other U.S. academic centers. Their goal is to narrow the field from suspect areas of chromosomes to isolate genes that affect the mental health of thousands of Americans. The Institute began the collaborative research 15 years ago and has successfully identified areas of genetic linkage on specific chromosomes. With new funding from the NIMH, Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 10:06 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2003

Gene linked to Bipolar Disorder identified

UCSD Researchers Identify Bipolar Disorder Gene Link Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine have identified a specific gene that causes bipolar disorder in a subset of patients who suffer from this debilitating psychiatric illness. Published in the June 16, 2003 issue of the journal Molecular Psychiatry, the findings indicate that a mutation in a gene that regulates sensitivity to brain neurotransmitters such as dopamine, causes bipolar disorder in as many as 10 percent of bipolar cases. The mutation in this gene, G protein receptorkinase 3 (GRK3), occurs in a portion of the gene called Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)

September 28, 2001

Genetic Links to Bipolar Disorder

Researchers Find Genetic links to Bipolar Disorder INDIANAPOLIS-- The largest linkage sample to date for bipolar illness has been completed in a collaborative effort by researchers who say the information may have a large impact on treatment of the disease which affects thousands of Americans. The National Institute of Mental Health Genetics Initiative Bipolar Group is composed of researchers from Indiana University, John Hopkins University, the National Institute of Mental Health Intramural Research Program and Washington University. The group is chaired by John Nurnberger Jr., M.D., director of the Institute of Psychiatric Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 9:57 PM | Comments (6)