Research News

A summary of recent interesting research results related to studies of bipolar disorder, mood stabilizing medications and genetics.

A large international collaborative group of over 100 scientists has published the largest genetic study of bipolar disorder ever conducted. They identified at least four genes that cause susceptibility to bipolar disorder. Psychiatric GWAS Consortium for Bipolar Disorder. (2011) Large-scale genome-wide association analysis of bipolar disorder identifies a new susceptibility locus near ODZ4. Nat Genet. Sep 18;43(10):977-83.

An analysis of gene networks indicates that lithium and valproate may in part work the same way. Gupta, A.  (2011). Interaction networks of lithium and valproate molecular targets reveal a striking enrichment of apoptosis functional clusters and neurotrophin signaling. The pharmacogenomics journal.

The ConLiGen study is announced. ConLiGen is another large study of genes involved in response to lithium. ConLiGen will determine lithium response by review of medical records, while the PGBD study assesses response in patients actively undergoing treatment. ConLiGen is a collaborative partner with PGBD and scientists will work together to use both methods to find genes. Schulze, T. G. (2010). The International Consortium on Lithium Genetics (ConLiGen): an initiative by the NIMH and IGSLI to study the genetic basis of response to lithium treatment. Neuropsychobiology, 62(1), 72-8.

A genetic study is conducted on subjects who participated in a large clinical trial of the treatment of bipolar disorder, the STEP-BD study. STEP-BD is one of the largest studies of the treatment of bipolar disorder ever conducted. Genetic analyses of subjects who took lithium identified several genes possibly associated with lithium response. Perlis, R. H. (2009). A genomewide association study of response to lithium for prevention of recurrence in bipolar disorder. The American journal of psychiatry, 166(6), 718-25.