Psychiatric News - Gene Variants May Contribute to Bipolar Illness by Changing Brain

 – November 6, 2013  –– 

Although variants of the CACNA1C gene and the ANK3 gene may contribute to bipolar disorder by acting on an area of the brain involved in processing facial emotions, how they might do so is a mystery. Sophia Frangou, MD, PhD, Senior Faculty of Psychiatry, and Chief of the Psychosis Research Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and colleagues decided to evaluate whether having the CACNA1C gene variant linked with bipolar disorder as well as the ANK3 gene variant also linked with the illness showed a relationship with the brain area involved in processing facial emotions. They did find such a link in both controls and bipolar subjects. However, the associations were somewhat different between the two groups.
-Dr. Sophia Frangou, Senior Faculty, Psychiatry, Chief, Psychosis Research Program, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Learn more