June 5

Bipolar Disorder in the Perinatal Period: No Consensus on Treatment

Given the frequency with which bipolar disorder relapses occur, the perinatal period may be a precarious time for mother and baby.1 In an effort to reconcile differences among different bipolar disorder guidelines, Graham and colleagues sought to decipher the recommendations on bipolar disorder in the perinatal period by reviewing 11 international guidelines published from 2005 to 2015.

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February 7

A new path into bipolar disorder comes to light

Bipolar Disorder (BD) is a multifactorial brain disorder in which patients experience radical shifts in mood and undergo periods of depression followed by periods of mania. It has been known for some time that both environmental and genetic factors play important roles in the disease. For instance, being exposed to high levels of stress for long periods, and especially during childhood, has been associated with the development of BD.

Immediate early genes (IEGs) are a class of genes that respond very rapidly to environmental stimuli, and that includes stress. IEGs respond to a stressor by activating other genes that lead to neuronal plasticity, the ability of brain cells to change in form and function in response to changes in the environment. Ultimately, it is the process of neuronal plasticity that gives the brain the ability to learn from and adapt to new experiences.

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December 16

After Searching 12 Years for Bipolar Disorder’s Cause, Team Concludes It Has Many

Long-term study in more than 1,100 people yields a new seven-factor framework that could help patients, clinicians and researchers

Newswise — ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Nearly 6 million Americans have bipolar disorder, and most have probably wondered why. After more than a decade of studying over 1,100 of them in-depth, a University of Michigan team has an answer – or rather, seven answers.

In fact, they say, no one genetic change, or chemical imbalance, or life event, lies at the heart of every case of the mental health condition once known as manic depression.

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December 14

Why Highly Intelligent People Suffer More Mental and Physical Disorders

People with high IQ are considered to have an advantage in many domains. They are predicted to have higher educational attainment, better jobs, and a higher income level. Yet, it turns out that a high IQ is also associated with various mental and immunological diseases like depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, ADHD as well as allergies, asthma, and immune disorders. Why is that? A new paper published in the journal Intelligence reviews the literature and explores the mechanisms that possibly underlie this connection.

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December 10

Researchers test orange light treatment at emergency psychiatric care

Can orange light therapy help people who have serious mental disorders? Who hear voices and see things that aren’t there? Or who are thinking about committing suicide?

“Emergency psychiatric care hasn’t seen much new thinking about approaches to treatment. We’re trying to do something about that,” says Håvard Kallestad, a researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) Department of Mental Health. He is part of a team that is integrating a special light treatment into the new emergency psychiatric center at St. Olavs Hospital in Trondheim.

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