Study Participation

Reasons to Participate

  • You will help advance our understanding of how lithium works and what causes bipolar disorder.
  • You will contribute to the development of a genetic test that may one day help doctors select the best medication for each patient.
  • You will receive state of the art care for bipolar disorder including a detailed diagnostic assessment and detailed research follow-up.


In order to be eligible for the study, you must:

  • Be willing to try lithium or are currently taking lithium for your bipolar disorder,
  • Be at least 18 years old and have been diagnosed with bipolar I disorder,
  • Be willing and able to travel to one of the 10 study locations (shown here) for evaluation, psychiatric care, and research assessments.

What to Expect

As a participant in the study, you will:

  • Receive closely-monitored medical treatment for bipolar I disorder for up to two and a half years,
  • Undergo a thorough psychiatric and medical evaluation,
  • Provide a small blood sample for DNA (gene) analysis,
  • Be prescribed lithium to treat your bipolar I disorder. If lithium does not work, you will be given the opportunity to take valproate, instead,
  • Attend regular study follow-up visits where your symptoms and response to medication will be accessed (some of these visits may be done by phone),
  • Be paid for the research-related tasks that you complete (some sites).

(Some sites may require you to have insurance coverage to pay for non-research related treatment.)