Posts tagged with bipolar
June 21, 2010 by Evie Bentley.
Whilst it’s been known for years that lithium drugs help many bipolar patients to manage their disorder, it hasn’t been known how lithium acts. But now there is a clue! Laboratory studies show a link between lithium and an enzyme known as PO*. This enzyme controls a group of genes which affect brain cells’ sensitivity to lithium. And one of those genes, ImpA2, is also associated with bipolar disorder in some sufferers. So possibly there is a functional connection between ImpA2 and bipolar disorder, which can be mediated by lithium. Understanding this link could lead the way to better treatments for bipolar depression.
July 2, 2009 by Evie Bentley.
DNA analysis of thousands of people in three separate studies has shown that the disorder is linked to the interaction of a large number of genetic variants on chromosome 6, in an area called the Major Histocompatability Complex which has one role in the immune system and another in controlling the switching on or off of other genes.
How many variants are there? Well, over 30,000 were identified as being much more common in schizophrenics than non-schizophrenics apart from people with bipolar disorder.
So not only is the genetics of schizophrenia far more complex than had been thought, environmental influences are also involved, but there could be a previously unexpected overlap between the two psychopathologies, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (manic depression).