bipolar disorder

Molecular secrets revealed: Antipsychotic docked in its receptor

Antipsychotic drugs — which transformed mental health care following their chance discovery in the mid-20th Century — may finally be poised for a long-overdue makeover incorporating structure-based design. Scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health have achieved a landmark of psychiatric neuropharmacology: deciphering the molecular structure of a widely prescribed antipsychotic docked in its key receptor. They are hopeful that this discovery may hold secrets to designing better treatments for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and…

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Can early symptoms predict bipolar disorder? Evidence shows differing patterns of risk factors

Two patterns of antecedent or “prodromal” psychiatric symptoms may help to identify young persons at increased risk of developing bipolar disorder (BD), according to a new analysis in the¬†Harvard Review of Psychiatry. Early signs of BD can fall into a relatively characteristic “homotypic” pattern, consisting mainly of symptoms or other features associated with mood disorders; or a “heterotypic” pattern of other symptoms including anxiety and disruptive behavior. Environmental risk factors and exposures can also contribute…

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After searching 12 years for bipolar disorder’s cause, research team concludes it has many

Nearly 6 million Americans have bipolar disorder, and most have probably wondered why. After more than a decade of studying over 1,100 of them in-depth, a University of Michigan team has an answer — or rather, seven answers. In fact, they say, no one genetic change, or chemical imbalance, or life event, lies at the heart of every case of the mental health condition once known as manic depression. Rather, every patient’s experience with bipolar…

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Psychologist examines methods of classifying mental disorders

Mental illnesses, such as major depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, affect nearly 1 in 5 adults in the United States, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Many aspects of these illnesses remain something of a mystery, despite the progress made in understanding them by researchers studying these disorders in the last half century. Even so, clinicians and researchers, together with patients and their families, have made significant strides identifying and treating…

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Increased brain acidity in psychiatric disorders

Your body’s acid/alkaline homeostasis, or maintenance of an adequate pH balance in tissues and organs, is important for good health. An imbalance in pH, particularly a shift toward acidity, is associated with various clinical conditions, such as a decreased cardiovascular output, respiratory distress, and renal failure. But is pH also associated with psychiatric disorders? Researchers at the Institute for Comprehensive Medical Science at Fujita Health University in Japan, along with colleagues from eight other institutions,…

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People with mental illness reoffend less if on specialty probation

Each year, some 2 million people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses are arrested for various crimes, inadvertently turning the U.S. correctional system into the nation’s primary provider of inpatient psychiatric care. But an eight-year study led by the University of California, Berkeley, offers a solution. Researchers studied the supervision and outcomes of 359 offenders with mental illness, comparing those who had been placed on traditional probation against those on “specialty mental health…

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Half of adults with anxiety or depression report chronic pain

In a survey of adults with anxiety or a mood disorder like depression or bipolar disorder, about half reported experiencing chronic pain, according to researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. The findings are published online in the Journal of Affective Disorders. “The dual burden of chronic physical conditions and mood and anxiety disorders is a significant and growing problem,” said Silvia Martins, MD, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School…

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Parents with bipolar benefit from self-help tool

Online self-management support for parents with Bipolar Disorder leads to improvements in parenting and child behaviour. That is the finding of researchers from the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research at Lancaster University, who recruited 97 parents with Bipolar Disorder who have children aged between 3 and ten years old. They were split into two groups, with one being offered an Integrated Bipolar Parenting Intervention (IBPI) online. This includes sixteen modules lasting half an hour…

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Traumatic brain injuries may be helped with drug used to treat bipolar disorder

A drug used to treat bipolar disorder and other forms of depression may help to preserve brain function and prevent nerve cells from dying in people with a traumatic brain injury, according to a new Rutgers University study. In research published in Scientific Reports, Rutgers scientists discovered that lithium — used as a mood stabilizer and to treat depression and bipolar disorder — and rapamycin, a treatment for some forms of cancer, protected nerve cells…

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Neurons’ faulty wiring leads to serotonin imbalance, depression-like behavior in mice

Columbia scientists have identified a gene that allows neurons that release serotonin — a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and emotions — to evenly spread their branches throughout the brain. Without this gene, these neuronal branches become entangled, leading to haphazard distribution of serotonin, and signs of depression in mice. These observations shed light on how precise neuronal wiring is critical to overall brain health, while also revealing a promising new area of focus for studying…

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