Posted by: Viktor Mar | 2008 August 20

Bipolar illness linked with abnormal genes

 

BOSTON (UPI) — A team of U.S.-led scientists says it has found genetic abnormalities that balance sodium and calcium in brain cells linked with bipolar disease.

Researchers said they made the discovery during the largest genetic analysis of its kind to date for bipolar disorder. They found the association between the disorder and variation in two genes. The genes make components of channels that manage the flow of the elements into and out of cells, including neurons.

“A neuron’s excitability — whether it will fire — hinges on this delicate equilibrium,” explained Dr. Pamela Sklar of the Massachusetts General Hospital. “Finding statistically robust associations linked to two proteins that may be involved in regulating such ion channels — and that are also thought to be targets of drugs used to clinically to treat bipolar disorder — is astonishing.”

Sklar, who led the study, said the results point to the possibility bipolar disorder might stem, at least in part, from the malfunction of ion channels.

The study that included Shaun Purcell of MGH, Dr. Nick Craddock of Cardiff University and a large group of international researchers report their findings in the online edition of the journal Nature Genetics.


Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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  1. […] Bipolar illness linked with abnormal genes – BOSTON (UPI) — A team of US-led scientists says it has found genetic abnormalities that balance sodium and calcium in brain cells linked with bipolar disease. Researchers said they made the discovery during the largest genetic analysis … […]


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