Bipolar disorder genes, pathways identified



People who feel socially rejected are more likely to see others’ actions as hostile and are more likely to behave in hurtful ways toward people they have never even met, according to a new study. The findings may help explain why social exclusion is often linked to aggression - which sometimes boils over dramatically, as

Full Post: Socially excluded people may act aggresively toward others

Neuroscientists at the Indiana University School of Medicine have created the first comprehensive map of genes likely to be involved in bipolar disorder, according to research published online Nov. 21 in the American Journal of Medical Genetics.

The researchers combined data from the latest large-scale international gene hunting studies for bipolar disorder with information from their own studies and have identified the best candidate genes for the illness.

The methodology developed at the IU Institute of Psychiatric Research enabled Alexander B. Niculescu III, M.D., Ph.D., and his team to mine the data from the genome-wide association studies and other study results on the levels of gene activity in human blood samples and in animal models. Genes with the highest levels of prominence were determined to be the most active in contributing to the disorder.

The researchers also were able to analyze how these genes work together and created a comprehensive biological model of bipolar disorder.

“Based on our work, we now project that there will be hundreds of genes - possibly as much as 10 percent of the human genome - involved in this illness,” said Dr. Niculescu, who is an assistant professor of psychiatry and director of the laboratory of neurophenomics (http://www.neurophenomics.info/) at the IU School of Medicine. “Not all genetic mutations will occur in every individual with bipolar disorder. Different individuals will have different combinations of genetic mutations. This genetic complexity is most likely what made past attempts to identify genes for the disorder through genetic-only studies so difficult and inconsistent.”

Dr. Niculescu compared the process to a Web search. “The process was similar to a Google approach, the more links there are to a page on the Internet, the more likely it is to come up at the top of your search list. The more experimental lines of evidence for a gene, the higher it comes up on your priority list of genes involved in the disorder.”

Until now there have been few statistically significant findings in searches of the human genome as it applies to bipolar disorder, he said.

“By integrating the findings of multiple studies, we were able to sort through, identify genes that were most likely to be involved in bipolar disorder, and achieve this major breakthrough in our understanding of the illness,” Dr. Niculescu said.

Bipolar disorder, sometimes called manic depression, affects nearly 2.3 million Americans. A serious illness, people who suffer from it can experience mild or dramatic mood swings, shifts in energy and a diminished capacity to function.

Dr. Niculescu, a practicing psychiatrist and a molecular geneticist, said this work opens exciting avenues for psychiatric researchers and clinicians, as well as for patients and their families.

“First and foremost, these studies will lead to a better understanding of bipolar and related disorders,” he explained. “Second, the researchers now plan to study individuals to see which combination of genes is present in individuals to come up with a genetic risk score.”

The goal, he said, is to be able to apply the risk score to test individuals even before the illness manifests itself for preventive measures - lifestyle changes, counseling, low-dose medications - or to delay or stop the illness from developing.

“Third, in individuals who already have the illness, genetic testing in combination with blood biomarkers for the disease, could help determine which treatments works best so personalized treatments could be developed,” Dr. Niculescu said.

http://www.iu.edu/

Link




Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have for decades been regarded as two distinct psychotic disorders when it comes to definitions and risk factors. Schizophrenia is a psychotic illness that causes delusions and hallucinations - bipolar disorder also known as manic depression, causes extreme mood swings from deep depression to manic episodes. But now a study by

Full Post: Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have same genetic causes



A research study led by scientists from the Gregorio Mara?University Hospital in Madrid and the Network of Centres for Biomedical Research in Mental Health Networks (CIBERSAM) shows that adolescents experiencing a first outbreak of psychosis have lower levels of grey matter in their brains than healthy teenagers. Strangely, this change was seen in patients suffering

Full Post: Lack of grey matter linked to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder



A special issue of American Journal of Medical Genetics (AJMG): Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics presents a comprehensive overview of the latest progress in genetic research of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The issue covers major trends in the field of complex psychiatric genetics, underscoring how genetic studies of ADHD have evolved, and what approaches are needed

Full Post: Latest genetic research on ADHD



Men and women who have tried to kill themselves and are suffering from unipolar disorder (major depression), bipolar disorder (manic depression) or schizophrenia are at a very high risk of committing suicide within a year of their first attempt, concludes a study published today on bmj.com. This is the first time research has identified a

Full Post: Patients with depressive disorders or schizophrenia more likely to re-attempt suicide



An international research team has identified 11 novel locations in the human genome where common variations appear to influence cholesterol or triglyceride levels, bringing the total number of lipid-associated genes to 30. While major mutations in some of these genes have been known to underlie rare lipid metabolism disorders, it is becoming apparent that common

Full Post: Discovery of 11 new gene sites that influence cholesterol or triglyceride levels