Potential Bipolar Disorder Therapies Coming

Posted on March 11, 2016

Photo: flickr

In the new study from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), the researchers focused on a gene known as PDE10A, one of the many genes that has been linked to bipolar disorder, and the proteins this gene produces. These proteins help regulate intracellular levels of a messenger molecule called cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate), which is involved in a variety of biological processes including learning and memory.

"We began with the idea that behavioral changes in bipolar subjects might be due to these genetic variations in the cAMP messenger pathway," said Ron Davis, chair of TSRI's Department of Neuroscience. "We did find that this was the case and, indeed, that these variations were in one specific gene for the cAMP messenger pathway called PDE10A. The variations that we found in the gene may alter the function of one form of PDE10A and lead to susceptibility to bipolar disorder."

"The PDE10A19 protein is interesting because we previously didn't know it even existed in the human brain and because it's found only in other primates -- not mice or rats," said Research Assistant Courtney MacMullen, the first author of the study. "Once we understand how this protein helps neurons remain healthy, we might be able to develop medications to treat neurons when they function abnormally, such as in patients with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia."


Category(s):Bipolar, Mood Swings / Bipolar

Source material from The Scripps Research Institute


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