Depression and obesity common among bipolar patients with exhausted stress system

New observations show that older bipolar patients often have decreased activity in the hormone system responsible for the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol. Low levels of cortisol in bipolar patients were also associated with depression, low quality of life, obesity, dyslipidaemia and metabolic syndrome. These discoveries could provide important clues as to how treatment strategies for depression and bipolar disorder can be improved, according to a dissertation at Umeå University.

Possible mechanism for specific symptoms in bipolar disorder discovered

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet, and the Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University in Sweden have identified a gene variant linked to psychotic symptoms and cognitive impairment in people with bipolar disorder. The study, which is published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, describes a possible mechanism for how the gene variant produces clinical symptoms by affecting levels of specific proteins in the brain.

Identifying genetic factors in bipolar disorder

Researchers at Garvan, Neuroscience Research Australia and UNSW Australia are embarking on a collaborative project to sequence the genomes of family groups living with bipolar disorder. In doing so, they anticipate identifying some of the complex genetic factors that underlie the disease. The project is supported by the MLC Community Foundation.

Study Offers Clues to Early Detection of Bipolar Disorders in High-Risk Children

Columbus, OH – New research published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry indicates a strong link between subthreshold manic episodes and likelihood of developing bipolar disorder in children of parents with bipolar disorder. The study’s findings could improve clinical assessment and care for these high-risk children by potentially enabling earlier identification, treatment or possible preventive measures.