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Scientists Discover New Gene For Bipolar Disorder

Update Date: Mar 12, 2014 09:34 AM EDT

For people with bipolar disorder, the mood changes from top of the world to depths of despair is common. Working towards solution for such people, scientists have discovered two new gene regions connecting with the prevalent disease. 

In this unparalleled worldwide study, scientists from the University of Bonn Hospital, the Central Institute of Mental Health of Mannheim and the University of Basel Hospital have participated.

 "There is no one gene that has a significant effect on the development of bipolar disorder," said Prof. Dr. Markus M. Nöthen, Director of the Institute of Human Genetics of the University of Bonn Hospital, in the press release. "Many different genes are evidently involved and these genes work together with environmental factors in a complex way."

Statistically, about one percent of the population is suffering from bipolar disorder sometimes known as manic-depressive disorder. 

"The investigation of the genetic foundations of bipolar disorder on this scale is unique worldwide to date," said Prof. Rietschel from the Central Institute of Mental Health of Mannheim in the press release.

According to researchers, the search for genes involved in manic-depressive disorder is identical to finding a needle in a haystack. "The contributions of individual genes are so minor that they normally cannot be identified in the 'background noise' of genetic differences," explained Prof. Cichon from the University of Basel Hospital in the press release. 

"Only when we know the biological foundations of this disease can be also identify starting points for new therapies," added Prof. Nöthen.

Researchers were also able to confirm three additional suspect genes. 

The results will be published in the journal Nature Communications

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