Bipolar Disorder, Manic Depression Research
Recent Research Findings
Over half of patients diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder have at least one closely related family member with Bipolar or Depression, this means that it is inheritable. Not everyone who is diagnosed has a family member with Bipolar, but researchers are seeking to identify the genetic basis of Manic Depression, or Bipolar Disorder. Even though there have been many studies, the specific genes involved have not yet been conclusively identified. Scientists continue their search for these genes using family members effected by this disorder. Scientists and researchers are hoping to find the susceptibility genes and cause so they can better treat the disorder and be more able to use preventive interventions targeted at the underlying illness process.
Genetics researchers believe that a person's risk for developing Bipolar Disorder most likely increases with the amount of susceptibility gene they carry. The particular mix of genes may determine various features of the illness, such as age of onset, type of symptoms, severity, and course. In addition, environmental factors are known to play an important role in determining whether and how the genes are expressed.
Bipolar disorder could also be connected to levels of hormones. Experts in the field have noticed a similar link between thyroid hormone levels and those of people that have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and other mood disorders.
Having a family history of Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression) isn't always a factor. There are many cases of Bipolar where there is not a single person in the family that has a mood disorder.
There are also specialists that believe that childhood illnesses and diseases such as flus, strep throat, pneumonia, meningitis etc where fevers were excessively high could be a factor in some cases of Bipolar Disorder.
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