Scientists discover new genes associated with bipolar disorder



Those prescribed aripiprazole to help treat bipolar disorder know the anxiety and pain that is brought upon by the condition.

Those prescribed aripiprazole to help treat bipolar disorder know the anxiety and pain that is brought upon by the condition. Although the precise cause of the illness is unknown, scientists have recently found two genes that can be linked to the disease, while an additional three genes are suspected to be connected as well.

Through the combined efforts of professors from three universities, including the University of Bonn Hospital, the Central Institute of Mental Health of Mannheim and the University of Basel Hospital, scientists were able to come together and map two gene regions tied to the disease that could bring doctors one step closer to solving the origins of the condition.

Data was compiled from approximately 9,747 patients who had pre-existing conditions of bipolar disorder, and their DNA structures were compared to 14,278 subjects who were considered "healthy." Researchers then recorded around 2.3 million different genetic regions between the two parties, and eventually unveiled five "risk" regions in the DNA that were then associated with bipolar disorder. The researchers likened their findings to the common analogy of "finding a needle in a haystack."

Dr. Markus M. Nöthen, the director of the Institute of Human Genetics of the University of Bonn Hospital and co-author of the study, was ecstatic over his team's initial findings in their research.

"There is no one gene that has a significant effect on the development of bipolar disorder," Nöthen said in a statement. "Many different genes are evidently involved and these genes work together with environmental factors in a complex way. These gene regions were, however, statistically better confirmed in our current investigation - the connection with bipolar disorder has now become even clearer."   

Understanding bipolar disorder
While further research is needed to truly comprehend what the root of the illness is, it's important to recognize common traits and symptoms of bipolar disorder in order to start treatment sooner than later. Common indicators that you or someone you know might be struggling with the condition include:

  • Extreme mood swings
  • Lack of productivity
  • Proneness to irritability
  • Substance abuse
  • Trouble sleeping

Bipolar disorder is a condition that affects more than 5.7 million Americans, and is found in people of all ages, race and gender according to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. If you are experiencing a combination of the symptoms listed above, consult your physician to see if a prescribed medication is the right treatment for you. You can buy aripiprazole from a Canadian online pharmacy.