Bipolar News

Improvements In Unipolar And Bipolar Depression Following Deep Brain Stimulation

A new study shows that deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a safe and effective intervention for treatment-resistant depression in patients with either unipolar major depressive disorder (MDD) or bipolar ll disorder (BP). The study was published Online First by Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Rare Genetic Mutations Linked To Bipolar Disorder

An international team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, reports that abnormal sequences of DNA known as rare copy number variants, or CNVs, appear to play a significant role in the risk for early onset bipolar disorder.

The findings were published in the Dec. 22 issue of the journal Neuron.

CNVs are genomic alterations in which there are too few or too many copies of sections of DNA. Researchers have known that spontaneously occurring (de novo) CNVs - genetic mutations not inherited from parents - significantly increase the risk for some neuropsychiatric conditions, such as schizophrenia or the autism spectrum disorders. But their role was unclear in bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression.

Missing Synapse Protein Linked To Abnormal Behaviors

Although many mental illnesses are uniquely human, animals sometimes exhibit abnormal behaviors similar to those seen in humans with psychological disorders. Such behaviors are called endophenotypes. Now, researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have found that mice lacking a gene that encodes a particular protein found in the synapses of the brain display a number of endophenotypes associated with schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders.

The new findings appear in a recent issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, with Mary Kennedy, the Allen and Lenabelle Davis Professor of Biology at Caltech, as the senior author.


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