Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Link Suggested Between Regions on Two Chromosomes and Bipolar Disorder

16.09.2005


An international team of 53 researchers has offered the most convincing evidence so far linking bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, to two chromosomal regions in the human genome. The finding gives scientists refined targets for further gene studies.

"Even though bipolar disorder affects millions of people around the world-sometimes throughout their lifetimes-what we understand to be biologically relevant at the genetic level is not terribly characterized," said Matthew McQueen, lead author and postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). "This research can help focus the field to identify viable candidate genes."

The study will appear in the October issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics and is available now in the journal’s electronic edition online at http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/AJHG/journal/contents/v77n4.html.



More than two million American adults have bipolar disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Patients typically experience dramatic mood swings from episodes of euphoria and high energy to feelings of intense sadness, fatigue, and even suicide. Psychiatrists have identified two primary forms of the illness: bipolar I disorder, which is the classic form of recurring mania and depression, and bipolar II disorder, which has less severe episodes of mania. Treatment often includes medication.

The exact cause of the illness remains unknown, but scientists suspect the involvement of several genes, coupled with environmental influences. A number of individual studies have suggested genomic regions linked to bipolar disorder, but their results have been inconsistent and difficult to replicate, leaving the field "standing at a crossroads, wondering in which direction to go next," said McQueen.

To establish more definitive research, McQueen and his colleagues did something unusual. They secured and then combined original genome scan data from 11 independent linkage studies, instead of relying on the more common approach of using summary data from such studies.

"The use of original data made a significant difference in our ability to control for variation in several factors among the different data sets and to make the overall analysis much more consistent and powerful," said Nan Laird, HSPH Professor of Biostatistics and senior author on the paper.

The resulting analysis involved 1,067 families and 5,179 individuals from North America, Italy, Germany, Portugal, the UK, Ireland, and Israel, who had provided blood samples and family medical histories. The research team combined the data into a single genome scan and found strong genetic signals on chromosomes 6 and 8. The team now hopes to narrow the search to find associations between specific genes and the mental illness.

The analysis was funded through the Study of Genetic Determinants of Bipolar Disorder Project at the National Institute of Mental Health. Other researchers on the analysis team represented Massachusetts General Hospital, The Broad Institute, and the University of Pittsburgh.

For further information contact:
Christina Roache
Office of Communications
Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Ave.,
Boston, MA 02115

Tel# 617.432.6052
croache@hsph.harvard.edu

Christina Roache | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu
http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/AJHG/journal/contents/v77n4.html

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

Im Focus: A transistor of graphene nanoribbons

Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."

Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

Blockchain is becoming more important in the energy market

05.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making fuel out of thick air

08.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Rules for superconductivity mirrored in 'excitonic insulator'

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

Smartphone case offers blood glucose monitoring on the go

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>