Specific Gene Variations May Raise Risk of Bipolar Disorder: Study

Certain gene variations can be observed in brains of people suffering with Bipolar Disorder, finds a study. 

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A research by the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT has found that the presence of the protein CPG2 is significantly lesser in the brains of people with bipolar disorder.

As explained by the authors, “Bipolar disorder (BD) is a common mood disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of mania and depression. Both genetic and environmental factors have been implicated in BD etiology, but the biological underpinnings remain elusive.”

The study, led by Elly Nedivi, professor in MIT’s departments of Biology and Brain and Cognitive Sciences, also found that specific mutations in the SYNE1 gene undermine its experession and function in neurons. SYN1 gene encodes many proteins, including CPG2.

As reported in Business Standard, Nedivi said,

It’s a rare situation where people have been able to link mutations genetically associated with increased risk of a mental health disorder to the underlying cellular dysfunction. 

“For bipolar disorder this might be the one and only.”

Importantly, however, the researchers do not claim that the CPG2-related variations in SYN1 are the cause of the disorder. Instead, they are observed as significant markers as well as contributors to the likelihood or incidence of the disease.

A press release from the institute clarified, “The researchers are not suggesting that the CPG2-related variations in SYNE1 are 'the cause' of bipolar disorder, but rather that they likely contribute significantly to susceptibility to the disease.”

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