Monday, September 6, 2010

Bipolar Disorder Research

This was something I posted in a discussion for my Pathophysiology class.

Bipolar affective disorder, formerly known as manic-depressive disorder, is a mood disorder with a cyclic pattern between a depressive state, a normal state, and a manic or hypomanic state. Type I bipolar disorder presents with full mania, Type II presents with hypomania. Bipolar disorder used to be classified as a psychosis, however not everyone with bipolar disorder presents with psychotic manifestations and thus it was re-classified as a mood disorder.
Scientists believe that the mutation for bipolar disorder occurs on the 13th chromosome. Recent studies conducted by J.A. Badner and E.S. Gershon have shown that the chromosomal regions 13q32-33 and 22q11 are believed to confer susceptibility to this disorder.
Bipolar disorder usually onsets at puberty, but there are childhood onset cases and sometimes it can be triggered later in life. It affects people of all races equally. There is no way to tell that a person has bipolar disorder by looking at them. Bipolar II can be misdiagnosed as unipolar depression as the hypomanic state does not present with the extreme behaviors of the manic state. In my own case, I was misdiagnosed as having unipolar depression with anxiety until I was 38 years old, when in fact I have Bipolar II.
A person having one parent with bipolar disorder has a 25% chance of manifesting the disease at some point in their life. If both parents have bipolar disorder, the chances rise to 50%.
Bipolar disorder can be treated by a variety of medications. One of the medications is usually a mood stabilizer such as Lithium. Each person is different and will respond differently to medications. I am personally unable to tolerate either antidepressants or sedatives and thus only take Lithium. Other people may not be able to tolerate Lithium but might respond well to other mood stabilizers or to antidepressants. Some mood stabilizers, such as Depakote, are also anti-seizure medications. Pharmacologically speaking, Lithium is a unique medication and is not classified as anything but a mood stabilizer.

References: The American Society of Human Genetics
Polymorphisms at the G72/G30 Gene Locus, on 13q33, Are Associated with Bipolar Disorder in Two Independent Pedigree Series
Eiji Hattori, Chunyu Liu, Judith A. Badner, Tom I. Bonner, Susan L. Christian, Manjula Maheshwari, Sevilla D. Detera-Wadleigh, Richard A. Gibbs, and Elliot S. Gershon


Nessa said...

Fascinating information.