This month’s edition of Discovery’s Edge, Mayo Clinic’s Online Research Magazine, features an article entitled “The Genomics of Bipolar Disorder.” The article looks at biobanking – a practice in which research centers store a lot of information on thousands of people with certain disorders, in this case bipolar. Mayo Clinic, in conjunction with several other research centers, is collecting blood samples and clinical information from 2,000 patients. This information is stored anonymously, and researchers can use this high volume of data to look at specific questions about bipolar disorder.
The primary focus of this work is related to genomics – looking at genetic associations to bipolar disorder. The work is not just about which genes and genetic variations contribute to causing bipolar disorder, but also examines subtypes of bipolar disorder and patterns of medication response. Partly due to genetic differences, people experience different benefits and side effects to the same medications.