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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pharmacogenetics of lithium response in bipolar disorder.

Lithium is the first-line treatment for bipolar disorder. In the past, genetic studies have attempted to identify factors associated with positive treatment response or side effects. Several research groups have shown that familial factors, family history of primary bipolar disorder, and negative family history of schizophrenia in particular, correlate well with prophylactic lithium response. Conversely, studies of lithium responsive patients and their families can assist genetic research of bipolar disorder. Lithium responders appear to suffer from a form of bipolar disorder that is more genetically based and more homogeneous. In a series of family studies, the author and his colleagues have confirmed the differences in family histories of lithium responders and nonresponders and shown that the mode of inheritance in lithium responders is compatible with a major-gene model. Subsequently, they initiated an international collaborative study to map the gene(s) predisposing to the illness or treatment response, or both, using both linkage and association strategies. To date, a sample of 32 families, 138 unrelated patients and 163 control subjects has been studied. In these studies, they found support for the role of phospholipase C in lithium responsive bipolar disorder.[1]


  1. Pharmacogenetics of lithium response in bipolar disorder. Alda, M. Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience : JPN. (1999) [Pubmed]
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