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Science News About Bipolar Disorder

Inflammation in Pregnant Moms Linked to Child’s Brain Development

Science Update

High levels of maternal inflammation during pregnancy have been linked to effects in children, including reduced brain circuit communications and altered long-distance brain wiring at birth, poorer cognitive function at one year – and to reduced impulse control and working memory at two years.

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Molecular Secrets Revealed: Antipsychotic Docked in its Receptor

Press Release

Scientists have deciphered the molecular structure of a widely-prescribed antipsychotic docked in its key human brain receptor. The discovery may hold clues to designing better treatments for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.

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Brain’s Alertness Circuitry Conserved Through Evolution

Press Release

Using a molecular method likely to become widely adopted by the field, researchers have discovered brain circuitry essential for alertness – and for brain states more generally.

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Mood Stabilizing Medications an Effective Option for Older Adults with Bipolar Disorder

Science Update

Two standard medications for bipolar disorder were effective in controlling symptoms at doses tailored to older people in a clinical trial of treatment in adults over age 60.

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Coping With Familial Mental Illness in Stressful Times

Science Update

“An NIH/NIMH lifer” reveals how his Asian American family successfully coped with severe mental illness compounded by discrimination.

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Symptoms Outdo Diagnoses in Predicting Bipolar Disorder in At-Risk Youth

Science Update

Three types of symptoms emerged as powerful predictors of whether a youth with one parent with bipolar disorder will go on to develop the disorder, according to a new NIMH-funded study of 391 at-risk youth.

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Genome-Wide Study Yields Markers of Lithium Response

Science Update

Genome-Wide Study Yields Markers of Lithium Response

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Biomarkers Outperform Symptoms in Parsing Psychosis Subgroups

Press Release

Three biomarker-based categories, called “biotypes,” outperformed traditional diagnoses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder with psychosis, in sorting psychosis cases into distinct subgroups on the basis of brain biology

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Disorders Share Risk Gene Pathways for Immune, Epigenetic Regulation

Science Update

Risk genes for different mental disorders work through same pathways

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Rapid Agent Restores Pleasure-seeking Ahead of Other Antidepressant Action

Press Release

A drug being studied as a fast-acting mood-lifter restored pleasure-seeking behavior independent of – and ahead of – its other antidepressant effects.

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Suspect Gene Corrupts Neural Connections

Press Release

Researchers have shown in patients’ cells how a rare mutation in a suspect gene disrupts the expression of dozens of other genes underlying neural connections.

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Brain Region Singled Out for Social Memory, Possible Therapeutic Target for Select Brain Disorders

Science Update

The hippocampus houses learning and memory—specifically the storage of knowledge of who, what, where, and when. Using a special transgenic mouse, researchers have now pinpointed a hippocampal region called CA2 that is important for social memory, the ability of animal to recognize another of the same species. Understanding this region could be useful in understanding and treating disorders characterized by altered social behaviors such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism.

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