BDRN participants contribute to study published in Nature Genetics

Thousands of BDRN research participants across the UK have contributed data to a study recently published in the journal ‘Nature Genetics’. This international research involving around 14,000 individuals with bipolar disorder and 14,000 controls identified rare variants in a gene called AKAP11 as a risk factor for bipolar disorder. These variants are rare, occurring in a minority of participants and don’t contribute very much to risk among individuals with bipolar disorder as a whole. However, the findings do give more clues to the biological mechanisms involved in bipolar disorder. Interestingly the AKAP-11 protein is known to interact with a biological pathway modified by lithium suggesting the findings could also lead to a greater understanding of how lithium works in the treatment of bipolar disorder. These findings form an important step towards further research into the causes of bipolar disorder which will ultimately in turn hopefully lead to the development of more effective treatments.