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Posts Tagged ‘Bipolar disorder’

dnaMutations in the dystrobrevin binding protein 1 gene (DTNBP1), which has been known to be associated with schizophrenia, may also be associated with bipolar disorder (http://tinyurl.com/DTNBP1).   There has always been a suspicion that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder may have a common genetic cause.   The DTNBP1 gene is a potential genetic link between the two disorders.  The gene codes for dystrobrevin binding protein 1. 

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MelatoninMedWire (10/15, Davenport) reports that “patients with bipolar I disorder have melatonin super-sensitivity to light compared with healthy individuals, which may serve as an endophenotypic marker for the condition,” according to a study published online Sept. 23 in the journal Acta Neuropsychiatrica. Investigators from Australia’s University of Melbourne “studied seven patients with bipolar I disorder and 34 healthy controls.” The researchers found that “during zero light conditions, there were no significant differences in the changes in melatonin levels between patients and controls,” but “during exposure to 200, 500, and 1000 lux, patients showed significantly more sensitivity to light than controls, with the sensitivity consistently elevated across the light–response curve.”

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MedWire (8/27, Davenport) reports that, according to a study published online Aug. 10 in the journal Bipolar Disorders, “the gating ratio of auditory brain potentials at 85 ms (P85) may help clinicians differentiate between bipolar disorder patients and healthy individuals.” For the study, researchers from tbp-buckeyepsychiatryhe University of California-Irvine “measured…P85 auditory evoked potentials in 45 patients with schizoaffective disorder, 66 patients with paranoid schizophrenia, 42 bipolar I disorder patients, and 56 healthy controls.” The team found “significant differences in the average P85 gating ratio between the groups, at 124.8 for bipolar I disorder patients, 96.0 for schizoaffective disorder patients, 84.7 for patients with paranoid schizophrenia, and 70.5 for healthy controls.” The authors suggested that “the previously unstudied P85 component may represent a new biological marker for bipolar disorder.”

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ccMedWire (7/21, Grasmo) reports that, according to a study published online July 10 in the journal Bipolar Disorders, there may be “an association between suicidal acts and smoking and coffee consumption in bipolar disorder (BPD) patients.” For the study, researchers from Germany’s University of Cologne “conducted a retrospective analysis of demographic and clinical factors among 352 patients with BPD I and II, comparing results in patients who did and did not (19 percent) consume nicotine or caffeine.” The team found that “current smoking and coffee drinking were common in BPD patients (46 percent and 74 percent, respectively) and were significantly and independently associated with suicidal acts following multivariate analysis, with corresponding odds ratios (ORs) of 1.79 and 2.42.” In addition, “patients who used either substance had a 2.66 relative risk for suicide compared with patients who neither smoked nor drank coffee (23.9 percent vs. 9.0 percent, respectively).”

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Research suggests treatment-resistant depression may be associated with reduced global cortical folding surface.  MedWire (3/20, Davenport) reported that, according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, “in unipolar and bipolar patients, treatment-resistant depression is associated with reduced global cortical folding surface.” For the study, researchers from France’s Hôpital Cochin in Paris “studied 16 bipolar disorder patients currently in a treatment-resistant major depressive episode, 25 euthymic bipolar disorder patients, 35 patients with treatment-resistant unipolar depression, and 70 healthy controls.” Using “T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),” the team found that patients with bipolar disorder “with treatment-resistant depression had significantly smaller” hemispheric global sulcal indices (g-SIs) “in the right hemisphere than controls.” Among patients with “treatment-resistant unipolar depression…s-GIs were three to four percent lower in both hemispheres than the corresponding values in controls.” The authors concluded that “reduced cortical folding surface appeared to be a feature of both unipolar depression and bipolar disorder with treatment-resistant depression.”

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In an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times (12/14), Laurel L. Williams, D.O., program director of the Menninger Clinic’s adolescent treatment program and assistant director of residency training, child, and adolescent psychiatry, and assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine, wrote that, “for a variety of reasons, bipolar diagnoses have become extremely popular. A Columbia University analysis of a National Center for Health Statistics survey found that the number of office visits for children diagnosed with bipolar disorder rose 40-fold between 1994 and 2003.” She noted that the “reasons for the surge in bipolar diagnoses are complex.” Dr. Williams cited an increase in pharmaceutical companies advertising to consumers, a shortage of board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrists, and insurance companies, which, “via their reimbursement plans, discourage healthcare providers from spending the time necessary to assess and treat childhood mental-health problems,” as a few of the reasons. “Psychiatric assessment and treatment of a child can be hard,” Dr. Williams argued, concluding that, “unfortunately, families often put more faith in what they see and hear in advertising than they do in physicians. As physicians, we need to win them back.”

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Patients suffering from BiPolar Disorder may want to SNiP this article from the NY Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/15/science/15visual.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

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