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Researchers decipher manic gene
Date:8/31/2012

Flying high, or down in the dumps - individuals suffering from bipolar disorder alternate between depressive and manic episodes. Researchers from the University of Bonn and the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim have now discovered, based on patient data and animal models, how the NCAN gene results in the manic symptoms of bipolar disorder. The results have been published in the current issue of "The American Journal of Psychiatry."

Individuals with bipolar disorder are on an emotional rollercoaster. During depressive phases, they suffer from depression, diminished drive and often, also from suicidal thoughts. The manic episodes, however, are characterized by restlessness, euphoria, and delusions of grandeur. The genesis of this disease probably has both hereditary components as well as psychosocial environmental factors.

The NCAN gene plays a major part in how manias manifest

"It has been known that the NCAN gene plays an essential part in bipolar disorder," reports Prof. Dr. Markus M. Nthen, Director of the Institute of Human Genetics at the University of Bonn. "But until now, the functional connection has not been clear." In a large-scale study, researchers led by the University of Bonn and the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim have now shown how the NCAN gene contributes to the genesis of mania. To do so, they evaluated the genetic data and the related descriptions of symptoms from 1218 patients with differing ratios between the manic and depressive components of bipolar disorder.

Comprehensive data from patients and animal models

Using the patients' detailed clinical data, the researchers tested statistically which of the symptoms are especially closely related to the NCAN gene. "Here it became obvious that the NCAN gene is very closely and quite specifically correlated with the manic symptoms," says Prof. Dr. Marcella Rietschel from the Central Institute of Menta
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Contact: Dr. Markus M. Nthen
markus.noethen@uni-bonn.de
0049-228-287-22347
University of Bonn
Source:Eurekalert

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