People with bipolar disorder change between manic and depression periods. Basler's study has now identified genes associated with it.
One in every hundred people have bipolar disorder in their lifetime. Genetics plays an important role: it is known from previous studies that many different genes clearly contribute to the development of the disease.
In a large-scale investigation, an international research team has now identified twenty new genome regions relating to manic depressive illness. They report this in the journal "Nature Genetics".
For the study, the researchers, including Sven Cichon from the University Hospital and the University of Basel with his team, compared the genetic material of 30,000 patients and 170,000 people controlled. The aim was to find small differences in the genotype, more common in patients, but much less in control subjects. Experts call this type of study a "genome-wide society study".
In total, the research consortium reported that 30 genomic regions were involved in bipolar disorder, 20 of which were unrelated to the disease from the front, says the University of Basel.
Part of insulin and pain regulation
Sven Cichon and his team were particularly involved in evaluating the data and finding out what biological function the genes have in the identified Erbgu sections.
For example, he said genes included the blueprint for ion channels that influence neurone activity. In addition, the analysis provided evidence for the first time that the regulation of insulin and factors relating to the regulation of body pain were linked to the development of the disease.
The study also showed that the differences between two different types of bipolar disorder are also reflected in the genome. Type 1, associated with more obvious manic and depressive periods, is more like schizophrenia at the genetic level, wrote the University of Basel. Type 2, which is lighter, shows more genetic evidence of a relationship with depression.
Genomic society studies provide important clues to the biological basis of disease and can refer to targets for new drugs.