As most of ya'll know, I do a lot of research on thyroid.
I got this from yahoo "thyroid" news alert which is about researchers finding a link between an abnormal thyroid condition and bipolar disorder!!!!!!
I love it when the researchers figure out what "regular people" are
finding out. ;-)
I will CAPITALIZE the main sentence and put the info on thyroid in BOLD
Public release date: 16-Jun-2005
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Research zeros in on bipolar disorder genes, link with thyroid condition
Genetics major theme at International Conference on Bipolar Disorder
PITTSBURGH, June 16 – Despite an intensive effort, researchers have
yet to identify the genes that cause bipolar disorder, yet the
practical benefits of such a discovery could reap rich rewards for
those suffering from the mental illness.
New research findings presented today at the Sixth International
Conference on Bipolar Disorder suggest specific genetic linkages that
are associated with the mental illness, bringing researchers much
closer to finding the elusive gene or genes. ANOTHER STUDY
FINDS AN ASSOCIATION BETWEEN AN ABNORMAL THYROID
CONDITION AND BIPOLAR DISORDER, POINTING TO THE POSSIBILITY
THAT A SIMPLE TEST COULD HELP IDENTIFY THOSE AT RISK.
To further investigate more specific genetic linkages, Marion
Leboyer, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Paris Faculty of Medicine,
studied 87 bipolar sibling pairs from 70 European families who were
participants in the European Collaborative Study on Early Onset
Bipolar Affective Disorder and identified eight regions of genetic
linkages that, while not necessarily the sole or unique ones
associated with this disease, zeroed in on what may be the specific
genes that predispose individuals to early onset of this debilitating
According to Dr. Leboyer, his studies of families with members who
developed the illness as children or adolescents reduces those
genetic and clinical variabilities that can complicate efforts to
identify susceptibility genes. Finding these genes would help
researchers develop more effective treatments or even prevent
the disorder from occurring in at-risk individuals.
Other genetic clues come from results of two related studies
involving adolescent and young adult offspring of bipolar parents and
of twins with bipolar disorder, suggesting a genetic link between
bipolar disorder and an abnormal thyroid condition
Willem Nolen, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Groningen Medical
Centre, Netherlands, found that bipolar patients were twice as likely
as healthy subjects to develop autoimmune thyroiditis (AT).
the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder, who usually have an
increased prevalence of bipolar and other mood disorders, there also
was an increased prevalence of AT. Surprisingly, this finding did not
seem to be related to whether their offspring themselves had been
diagnosed with a psychiatric illness.
Among identical twins (who share all their genes) with at least one
twin having bipolar disorder, prevalence of AT was increased in the
other twin, irrespective of whether the other twin also had bipolar
disorder. However among fraternal twins (who share 50 percent of
their genes) with at least one fraternal twin having bipolar
disorder, prevalence of AT was increased only in the other fraternal
twin who also had bipolar disorder, but was not increased in the
fraternal twin without the illness.
Dr. Nolen's research highlights the increasing importance of
identifying endophenotypes – clinical information unique to certain
groups of individuals that may be predictive of risk for disease and
course of illness. Although associated genes for bipolar disorder and
AT have yet to be identified, AT may be an endophenotype for bipolar
disorder. As such, the findings suggest that relatives of patients
with bipolar disorder not only inherit the vulnerability for bipolar
disorder and other mood disorders, but that some also may share
the genetic vulnerability for developing AT.
If proven valid in further studies, the research suggests that
members of families in which bipolar disorder occurs could be tested
for autoimmune thyroiditis by means of a simple blood analysis,
thereby helping to identify those who also may be at risk for
developing bipolar disorder.
"Why hasn't a gene for bipolar disorder been identified when clearly
the illness affects some families more than others and what is
science telling us about who is most vulnerable and how the onset
of the illness can be prevented? While a number of genes have been
suspected to be associated with bipolar disorder, we thus far have
failed to isolate any definitive bipolar gene, but are making sure
progress that will ultimately bring answers about how and why this
debilitating disease affects so many. By exploring these genetic
connections, we inch closer to surer diagnosis and more rational and
effective treatments," commented Michael Thase, M.D., professor of
psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Held every two years, the International Conference on Bipolar
Disorder is the only venue in the world devoted exclusively to
highlighting new research into bipolar disorder. The Sixth Conference
is being held June 16 to18 at the David L. Lawrence Convention
Center, located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, and is being
sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of the University of
Pittsburgh Medical Center.