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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)

September 3, 2008

Children of Older Fathers at Higher Risk for Bipolar Disorder

Research over the past decade has clearly shown that children of older fathers have a higher risk for schizophrenia because their sperm is more likely to have damaged DNA in them due to the ravages of time. Now new research has identified the same risk for bipolar disorder - a disorder that is believed to be genetically and environmentally close to schizophrenia. A new study by researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institute suggested that older age among fathers is associated with an increased risk for bipolar disorder in their offspring,. Bipolar disorder is a common, severe mood disorder Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 12:25 PM | Comments (2)

November 15, 2007

An Increased Risk for Suicide: Bipolar Disorder and a Family History of Suicide

A new study out of the UK shows that people who suffer from bipolar disorder and who also have a family history of suicide, may be at a higher risk for committing suicide themselves. Specifically, bipolar patients with a family history of suicide are three times more likely to attempt suicide than is the rest of the population. Yet this increased risk of suicide isn't concentrated around just bipolar patients. As Dr. Eduard Vieta, one of the study's authors states, a family history of suicide also increases the risk of suicide for people who suffer from other mental illnesses. He's Read more...
Posted by szwriter at 12:10 PM | Comments (1)

November 12, 2007

Discussion: Research Findings on the Psychological Causes and Treatments of Bipolar Disorder

We've covered past research that demonstrates how high levels of certain kinds of expressed emotion have negative effects on the mental health of children. Recently, researchers at the University of Colorado discussed current research supporting this past research on bipolar disorder. A new story highlights their findings: Bipolar disorder is "a highly recurrent and debilitating illness." Research has demonstrated that certain types of expressed-emotion affect the development of bipolar disorder. Basically, certain negative attitudes in the home or from peers (such as critical ones, i.e., criticism) can increase not only the risk of developing bipolar disorder, but also the risk Read more...
Posted by szwriter at 6:07 PM | Comments (24)

October 21, 2006

Bipolar Disorder and Sleep

Excerpt The following is an excerpt from the book Bipolar II by Ronald R. Fieve, M.D. Published by Rodale; October 2006; $22.95US/$29.95CAN; ISBN 1-59486-224-9 Bipolar Disorder and Sleep "How many hours do you sleep on average at night, and what is the quality of your sleep?" are two of the first questions I ask every patient on the initial interview and all subsequent follow-up visits. While the hypomanic usually gloats over how little sleep he needs, getting by on 3 to 4 hours a night, the lack of quality sleep can wreak havoc on his mood and decision-making abilities. Sleep Read more...
Posted by daedalus at 5:22 AM | Comments (6)

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 ( 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)

July 6, 2006

Study Says Obesity, Mood Disorders Linked

A new study reports that Dr. Gregory E. Simon and his colleagues, from the Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, surveyed 9,125 adults across the US from 2001 to 2003 in a national study on mental disorders. They found there is a 25% increased risk in developing mood and anxiety disorders, and a 25% decreased risk for substance abuse in those suffering from obesity. They were questioned about demographics, physical attruibutes like height and weight, as well as psychological/psychiatric disoders (which included substance abuse). 2,330 of the participants matched the criteria for obesity (a Body Mass Index >30), and showed an Read more...
Posted by Michelle Roberts at 4:29 PM | Comments (17)

June 28, 2006

Infectious Agents in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

Since the beginning of the century, some scientists have theorized that bipolar disorder and even schizophrenia might be caused by an infection. This theory is supported with their similarities to other infectious diseases. AIDS, malaria, polio, and many more infectious diseases show a genetic predisposition, like both bipolar and schizophrenia. Even the neurotransmitter abnormalities provide support for this theory; alterations of dopamine, serotonin, and glutamate (neurotransmitters effected by bipolar and schizophrenia) have been seen in infectious diseases. One study reviewed 108 psychiatric cases believed to be caused by CNS (central nervous system) viruses and concluded that 62 of those cases Read more...
Posted by Michelle Roberts at 12:03 PM | Comments (2)

May 23, 2006

Study Identifies Predictors Of Bipolar Disorder Risk

A new study presented today at the 159th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in Toronto, Canada identified five predictors for bipolar disorder risk in patients who have been unsuccessfully treated with antidepressants. Researchers concluded that significant risk factors of bipolar disorder among patients already diagnosed with major depression were anxiety, feelings of people being unfriendly, family history of bipolar disorder, a recent diagnosis of depression, and legal problems. The study also found that forty-three percent of patients who responded positively to any three risk factors, screened positive for bipolar disorder using the Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ), Read more...
Posted by at 3:46 AM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2006

Fat chance of becoming manic-depressive

A collaboration, led by scientists at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, has discovered the first risk gene specifically for bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness. This means that people who have a particular form of this gene are twice as likely to develop the disease. Lead author, Dr Ian Blair, says: "We are the first group in the world to take a multi-faceted approach to identify a bipolar risk gene - we used a number of families, unrelated patients, and therapeutic drug mouse models. Each of these three Read more...
Posted by at 11:48 AM | Comments (3)

September 8, 2005

Epilepsy Patients Liable for Bipolar Disorder

Apparently those with epilepsy are at a higher risk of developing bipolar disorder than those with other chronic medical ailments. The participants in the study were 1,236 people with epilepsy, 8,994 with migraine, 7,951 with asthma, 7,342 with diabetes, and a healthy control group of 57,172 individuals. Epilepsy patients had bipolar disorder at a rate of 12%. This was 2 times more common than in any of the other groups with bipolar disorder and 6 times more common than those in the healthy control group. "'Our findings suggest that bipolar symptoms and perhaps formal bipolar disorder may be significantly underrecognized Read more...
Posted by at 12:06 PM | Comments (2)

August 31, 2005

Unemployment Has Link to Mental Health

Apparently children of parents who are both unemployed are at a higher risk for developing a mental disorder. "Where neither parent was working, the figure was 20% compared with 8% where both were in employment, while it was 16% for families with a gross weekly income of £100 or less compared with 5% for those bringing in £600 or more" (DailyMail, 2005). Those in single parent families were also at higher risk for having a mental disorder, at 16%. It was at 14% for children in families that had been "reconsituted," in other words, families in which kids were also Read more...
Posted by at 2:20 PM | Comments (1)

August 27, 2005

Bipolar Disorder Has Link to Energy Deficiency

Belmont, MA - Is bipolar disorder related to an energy deficiency in the brain? Can researchers find ways to stabilize this deficiency in order to help those suffering from the illness? These questions and other issues are addressed in a revolutionary new study (abstract) from McLean Hospital published in the March 1, 2004 Archives of General Psychiatry. The study reveals that the mitochondria, cell organelles in the brain important for energy conversion, might not function as effectively in the brains of individuals with bipolar disorder as they do in the brains of controls or those with schizophrenia. The discovery of Read more...
Posted by at 11:48 AM | Comments (2)

August 25, 2005

Half of Those w/ Bipolar Disorder Had Childhood Abuse?

Severe childhood trauma or childhood abuse appears to have occurred in about half of people with bipolar disorder, according to one new study of 100 patients from the USA published in the February 2005 British Journal of Psychiatry. This is of course according to this one small survey (so don't put too much value on it yet). This study seems to have a number of weaknesses that make it difficult to generalize from - including the small sample size, and the "self-reported" nature of the study. Childhood trauma or abuse has been associated with many different types of adult psychiatric Read more...
Posted by at 2:28 PM | Comments (2)

July 14, 2005

VCFS & Brain Disorders in Children

Brain Scans May Predict Mental Illness in Children with VCFS Children diagnosed with VCFS - Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome known also as Shprintzen Syndrome have a one in four chance of developing psychiatric disabilities. VCFS is "linked to the deletion of small piece of chromosome 22 that...can cause cleft palate, heart defects, and abnormal facial appearance and learning problems." It is thought to be the "second most common genetic syndrome in humans." The prevalence of this disorder is 1 in 2,000. Unfortunately, children suffering from this disorder already face a number of medical problems, but now recent studies have shown that they Read more...
Posted by at 6:31 PM | Comments (2)

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)