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Bipolar Research

Bipolar Research at the U-M Department of PsychiatryBipolar Disorder is known to run in families, but most genes involved have not yet been identified. A person’s response to the illness, to various life circumstances and treatment can vary.  Through our studies, we strive to make a difference for individuals whose lives have been touched by Bipolar Disorder.


Longitudinal Study of Bipolar Disorder

To identify potential illness patterns in Bipolar Disorder. This will be done through the analysis of genetic information and the continued observation of people with Bipolar Disorder for at least five years. More information

Stem Cell Research in Bipolar Disorder

The goal of this study is to establish stem cell lines from skin cells taken from individuals with bipolar disorder and to study details of how the genetic material (DNA) may be affected by factors such as the presence of medication, which could influence the functioning of the neuronal cells. Integration of the extensive clinical and physiological data from study participants along with the emerging cellular data from the stem cell research is highly likely to assist in determining why some individuals respond to specific interventions, or why stressors result in variable outcomes.
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PGBD: Pharmacogenomics of Mood Stabilizer Response in Bipolar Disorder

To identify genes associated with good response to two commonly used mood stabilizing agents, lithium and valproate, in patients with bipolar disorder.
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ERP (Event-Related Brain Potential) Study

The goal of this study is to examine the relationship between levels of impulse control and suicidal behavior in research volunteers with bipolar disorder. Using EEG we can detect the timing and wave pattern of certain events in the brain.  We hope to find a biological marker through EEG that can assist us in identifying individuals at high risk for impulsive suicidal behavior. More information

Adolescents at Hight Risk for Familial Bipolar Disorder

To identify risk factors in the development of Bipolar Disorder. If we are able to recognize biological, behavioral, social, or psychological features that predict the development of Bipolar Disorder, we may be able to decrease the impact the illness has on the individual and their family. More information

Nutritional Components of Psychiatric Disease and Treatment Response

To understand the dietary and genetic interactions that control serum fatty acids, and how this might contribute to the development of bipolar disorder and the response of bipolar patients to mood stabilizer medications. More information

Prechter Bipolar Genetics Repository 

As part of the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Genes Project, the Prechter Bipolar Genetics Repository has been established to study and conquer bipolar disorder. This large-scale Genetics Repository is collecting DNA samples from people who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder as well as healthy individuals. The University of Michigan is collaborating on this effort with our independently approved partner sites: Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Cornell, and Penn State Universities.

Together, these investigators are working with their research teams on specific studies to collect phenotypic information, or observable traits, on thousands of bipolar individuals and on control participants. They are also collecting biological samples by examining the blood and extracting genetic material, specifically the DNA, from the participants.

The Genetics Repository enables pilot studies to address bolder questions. Studies that are based on new findings will be able to proceed more expeditiously. The Genetics Repository is a vitally important tool to rapidly accelerate genetic research, one of the most significant areas of study today.

The goal of the Prechter Bipolar Genetics Repository is to one day provide confidential, coded DNA samples and clinical information to scientists worldwide to accelerate knowledge breakthroughs.