Pharmacogenomics of Bipolar Disorder team photo


The Pharmacogenomics of Bipolar Disorder study (PGBD) is a research study of patients with bipolar disorder and the role of genes in their response to medications. The study focuses on two of the most commonly used mood stabilizing medications, lithium and valproate (Depakote®). The goal is to identify the genes that influence whether a patient will have a good response to these medications.

Clinical Treatment with Lithium

Lithium is the best known and most widely used medication for bipolar disorder. If you have bipolar disorder and are willing and able to be treated with lithium, you may be eligible to participate in the study. If you participate in this clinical trial, you will receive a state of the art diagnostic evaluation and expert treatment with lithium. You may also receive compensation. Most people with bipolar disorder can be successfully treated with lithium, which has been shown to be the most effective medication for maintaining stability. The goal of the study is to treat you with lithium alone, which may reduce the number of side effects you may experience.

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Personalized Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Patients with bipolar disorder vary widely in their response to medication. As a result, patients frequently have to try many different medications before they find the one that works for them. This takes time, leads to increased side effects and prolongs patient suffering. Doctors believe that it is differences in people’s genes that influence whether they respond well to a given medication or whether they have side effects. By finding these genes, it is hoped that a genetic test may be developed that will help doctors pick the best medication for each patient. This will help patients get better faster while having fewer side effects.

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The PGBD study is sponsored by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). The study is coordinated by the lead site at the University of California, San Diego and directed by Dr. John Kelsoe. If you have bipolar disorder, there are 10 sites around the world where you may be able to participate.