Stem Cell Research Sheds Light on Genetic Factor in Bipolar Disorder

A study published last month in a journal called Translational Psychiatry entitled "Transcripts involved in calcium signaling and telencephalic neuronal fate are altered in induced pluripotent stem cells from bipolar disorder patients" reported interesting findings about the development of brain cells in people with bipolar disorder compared to controls — people without bipolar disorder. The study was unique in two important ways:

The study was based on the increasingly accepted concept that even subtle changes in early embryonic brain development can cause symptoms of mental illness that appear later in life.
The researchers took advantage of evolving technology that creates stem cells — the origin cells in embryos that evolve into all the different cells types in the body — from adults rather than taking them from embryos. This allows researchers to have access to many more stem cells and also offers the opportunity to compare the stem cells from adults with certain diseases to those without and to see differences in the way they develop.

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Advocacy

CIT Not Just a Law Enforcement Program

I recently attended the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Indiana's Criminal Justice Summit in Indianapolis, IN. The morning's keynote speaker was Major Sam Cochran (ret.), who is nationally known for his work in developing the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model in Memphis, TN.

Cochran's message was clear: CIT is not just a law enforcement program; CIT is a community program and should be recognized as a community priority. It should involve not only law enforcement officers and dispatchers, but also prosecutors, judges, emergency room personnel, physicians, nurses, psychiatrists, therapists, the community mental health center, and other community resource centers.
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Bipolar Disorder Q&A

Please check out "Q&A: Dr. Candida Fink on Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder" conducted by writer Suelain Moy for MedShadow Foundation.
Do more women than men suffer from Bipolar Disorder? At what age is it diagnosed? Can it be faked? We asked psychiatrist Dr. Candida Fink, a leading expert on Bipolar Disorder and the co-author of The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child and Bipolar Disorder for Dummies these questions and more.
Please check it out and let us know what you think.

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