fbpx

NEWS

Learn how to reduce your risk of dementia

Major Sequencing Study For Bipolar Disorder

Major Sequencing Study For Bipolar Disorder

Mental Illness

MAJOR SEQUENCING STUDY FOR BIPOLAR DISORDER
DR JAN FULLERTON

Around 250,000 Australians are affected by bipolar disorder, a major mood disorder characterised by periods of mania and depression, which can be highly debilitating. People living with bipolar disorder can face a range of issues, including escalating impulsive and risk-taking behaviour and reduced life expectancy, leading to increased suicide risk and higher rates of general health conditions such as cardiovascular disease.

Current treatments are highly variable for individuals with this condition, and the specific genetic causes have remained largely obscure. A collaborative research project will be led by Dr Jan Fullerton, a Senior Research Scientist at NeuRA, that includes researchers across NeuRA, the Black Dog Institute, UNSW, Prince of Wales Hospital, and the Sax Institute, to establish NSW as a national and international leader in genomic medicine.

The study will utilise over 10 years of administrative health-record data from the Sax Institute’s 45 and Up study, the largest cohort study of healthy ageing in Australia, comprising over 267,000 individuals. From this resource, researchers will recruit and obtain genetic samples from 1,200 individuals with bipolar disorder to perform whole genome sequencing through the state-of-the-art genomics facility at the Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics and the Garvan Institute.

“This landmark study will use advanced genomics and administrative data analysis of government health records to address key knowledge gaps in the causes and treatment of bipolar disorder,” says Dr Fullerton.

“Bipolar disorder is most commonly treated with lithium, but this is only fully effective for around 30 per cent of patients. Currently, there are no tools to identify which individuals are most likely to respond to lithium, and treatment often entails a frustrating trial-and-error approach on a series of medicines before an effective treatment regime is identified.”

The investigator team aims to identify genes and molecular pathways which increase the risk of illness, and genetic signatures which may predict responsiveness to medicinal treatment. The team will also examine genetic signatures which influence general medical conditions more commonly experienced in people with bipolar disorder (such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and asthma), which further reduce quality of life and significantly impacts the overall health of people living with bipolar disorder.

The project has potential to open avenues for personalised medicine in the future treatment of bipolar disorder, potentially enabling the identification of individual patients who would benefit from specific treatments based on their genetic makeup. This unique study will also contribute to key international collaborative efforts to further the potential for gene discovery, improving our understanding of the causes of this complex and highly heritable psychiatric condition.

Bipolar disorder is most commonly treated with lithium, but this is only fully effective for around 30 per cent of patients.

Prof-Stephen-Lord

FALLS BALANCE INJURY
LIVING WELL WITH PARKINSON’S DISEASE
Professor Stephen Lord and Dr Jasmine Menant

Associate-Professor-Kim-Del

FALLS BALANCE INJURY
PREVENTING FALLS IN SENIORS
By Associate Professor Kim Delbaere

Professor-Cyndi-Shannon-Wei

MENTAL ILLNESS
SCHIZOPHRENIA BREAKTHROUGH
By Professor Cyndi Shannon Welkert

Associate-Professor-Julie-B

INJURY PREVENTION
KEEPING SENIORS SAFE ON ROADS
By Associate Professor Julie Brown

Dr-Sylvia-Gustin

PAIN GROUP
SPINAL CORD BREAKTHROUGH
By Dr Sylvia Gustin

Associate-Professor-James-M

PAIN GROUP
PAIN FREE AND DRUG FREE
By Associate Professor James McAuley

Scientia-Professor-George-P

BRAIN STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION
MAPPING THE BRAIN GOES 3D
By Scientia Professor George Paxinos AO

Dr-Claire-Shepherd

BRAIN STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION
CRITICAL WORK OF THE SYDNEY BRAIN BANK
By Dr Claire Shepherd

Professor-Danny-Eckert

SLEEP LAB
SLEEP AND PARKINSONS’S RESEARCH
By Professor Danny Eckert

Prof-Caroline-Rae

BRAIN STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION
TAKING A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO PARKINSON’S RESEARCH
By Professor Caroline Rae

Associate-Professor-Melissa

MENTAL ILLNESS
A LIFE-COURSE APPROACH FOR MENTAL HEALTH
By Associate Professor Melissa Green

Professor-Jacqueline-Close

FALLS BALANCE AND INJURY
REDUCING RISKS OF HIP FRACTURE
By Professor Jacqueline Close

Donate