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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 21, 2009

Children of Bipolar Parents

Apropos of our recent post on September 17, we came across a University of Pittsburgh Study released earlier this year which offers additional information about children of bipolar parents. Children and teens of parents with bipolar disorder have an increased risk of early-onset bipolar disorder, mood disorders and anxiety disorders, according to a study by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers published in the March issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. An estimated one in 100 children and teens worldwide has bipolar disorder. Identifying the condition early may improve long-term outcomes, potentially preventing high Read more...
Posted by Michael Lane at 3:58 PM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2009

Genetic link between Adults and Children with bipolar disorder

Many bipolar patients must face the terrifying prospect that their illness may be passed along to their children! A recent Q&A post from CNN caught our attention: Question: "My boyfriend and I discussing getting engaged and having children one day. He said he's scared to have kids. His biological grandmother and his father both have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He has no symptoms of it, but some of his siblings do. He is terrified that his children could inherit this disorder! My family has no history of it at all. Since neither of us have it, should we Read more...
Posted by Michael Lane at 10:21 AM | Comments (5)

July 1, 2009

New study shows genetic similarities between bipolar and schizophrenia

Scientists have identified thousands of tiny genetic variations which together could account for more than a third of the inherited risk of schizophrenia. They also showed the condition is genetically similar to bipolar disorder also known as manic depression. The findings came from work by three separate teams, who analysed DNA from thousands of people. The studies - the biggest ever into the genetics of schizophrenia - appear in the August 6 edition of the journal Nature. The findings suggest that schizophrenia is much more complex than previously thought, and can arise not only from rare genetic variants, but common Read more...
Posted by Michael Lane at 1:22 PM | Comments (3)

November 7, 2007

Bipolar Disorder and Attitudes Toward Having Children

A new study out of Australia which will appear in the journal Psychological Medicine has found that over a third of relatives of people with bipolar disorder are afraid to have children. The reason for their fear seems mainly to be stigma associated with the disorder. Despite a lower risk as compared to other genetic disorders, bipolar disorder aroused a more negative attitude from the 200 people who participated in the study, which was conducted at University of New South Wales. Even more surprising is that over half of the participants suffer from bipolar disorder themselves. Researchers state that studies Read more...
Posted by szwriter at 1:23 PM | Comments (6)

June 29, 2007

New Psychiatric Genomics Center Established

The Stanley Center for Psychiatric Genomics is a new research center opened by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory with a $25 million endowment from the Stanley Medical Research Institute. The new center will focus its research on understanding the genetics of disorders, such as Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia. The center will begin by comparing large numbers of people's genome sequences in hopes that they will be able to identify those genetic factors responsible in creating these mental illnesses. This type of focus couldn't have come at a better time; genetic components of Bipolar disorder seem to be on the brink with Read more...
Posted by Michelle Roberts at 10:45 AM | Comments (4)

June 22, 2007

New Gene Identification That Provides Clues to The Differences Between Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

A new article published in this month's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences outlines gene variations found in people suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The goal of this study was to determine more specifically the differences between these two psychiatric disorders. Finding differences in genes would hopefully lead the way to new, better, treatments. Currently many drugs created for one of these disorders is also used for the other; with often less than ideal results. Read more...
Posted by Michelle Roberts at 3:50 PM | Comments (4)

June 11, 2007

Brain Holds Clues To Bipolar Disorder

Looking into the brain is yielding vital clues to understanding, diagnosing and treating bipolar disorder, according to findings being presented today at the Seventh International Conference on Bipolar Disorder. Two studies, featured in a press briefing held June 7, have helped to identify novel pathways and markers for diagnosis and treatment of the disease. The first study, presented by Husseini K. Manji, M.D., chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Pathophysiology at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), suggests that bipolar disorder arises from abnormalities in neuronal plasticity cascades – the complex machinery inside of nerve cells that regulates numerous Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 7:52 PM | Comments (5)

May 8, 2007

Bipolar Disorder Genetic Basis Identified by First Genome-wide study of illness

The likelihood of developing bipolar disorder depends in part on the environment, but also a genetic risk based on the combined, small effects of variations in many different genes in the brain, none of which is powerful enough to cause the disease by itself, a new study shows. However, targeting the enzyme produced by one of these genes could lead to development of new, more effective medications. The research was conducted by scientists at the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), with others from the Universities of Heidelberg and Bonn and a number of U.S. facilities Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 9:14 AM | Comments (0)

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 12, 2006

An Excellent Bipolar Genetics Blog

There is an excellent new blog (written by psychiatric genetics researcher Ben Pickard) that is focused on bipolar disorder genetics. In the blog Ben (and other writers) review many recent journal articles on the genetics of bipolar, and other brain disorders - in a way that for many people should be understandable (or at least most of it will be). If you want to learn more about bipolar disorder genetics then this blog is a good place to visit. The blog is rather technical -- so perhaps its most appropriate for college students interested in learning more about the area. Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 12:49 PM | Comments (4)

October 3, 2006

New Bipolar Disorder Risk Gene Identified (Slynar)

University College London (UK) has announced that they believe that they've discovered a new gene that increases the risk for both depression and bipolar disorder. The collaboration, led by Professor Hugh Gurling at University College London (UCL) and Professor Ole Mors at the University of Aarhus, first looked at bipolar cases in families living in the UK and in Denmark, and then at large numbers of unrelated people with bipolar disorder. The results of the genetic searches, published in the October issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, identified the gene - known as Slynar - which is found on Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 11:26 AM | Comments (12)

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)

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)

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)