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Bipolar Research Offers New Approach

Bipolar Research Offers New ApproachA better understanding of why a therapeutic approach has been effective in the past may lead to an improved method to manage bipolar disorder.

Although lithium has been used as an effective treatment for bipolar disorder for more than 50 years, scientists have never been entirely sure why it is beneficial.

New research from Cardiff University scientists suggests a possible mechanism for why lithium works, opening the door for better understanding of the illness and potentially more effective treatments.

Laboratory studies with cells have shown that an enzyme known as prolyl oligopeptidase (PO) controls a set of genes that determine sensitivity to lithium. Among these genes is ImpA2, which like PO activity itself, has been associated with differences in some bipolar patients. These results reveal a new mechanistic link that could explain these changes in these patients.

Professor Adrian Harwood of Cardiff School of Biosciences, who led the research, said: “We still cannot say definitively how lithium can help stabilize bipolar disorder. However, our research has uncovered a new cell signaling process with links to bipolar disorder.

“This introduces a new mechanism and more candidate genes whose study could lead to greater understanding of the causes of bipolar disorder, better diagnostic tests and new types of drugs that are more effective and have fewer side effects than lithium does at present.”

The research, funded by the Wellcome Trust, is published in the international journal PLoS ONE.

Source: Cardiff University

Bipolar Research Offers New Approach

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Bipolar Research Offers New Approach. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 23, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2010/06/18/bipolar-research-offers-new-approach/14763.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
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