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General Genetics of Bipolar Disorder 

General Genetics of Bipolar Disorder
General Genetics of Bipolar Disorder

John I. Nurnberger

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date: 29 July 2021

Bipolar disorder runs in families and is strongly heritable,. Twin and adoption studies suggest that the phenomenology of bipolar disorder is under strong genetic control, although there are clearly environmental factors as well. The population rates of mood disorders are increasing, particularly in familieswith a history of mood disorder, consistent with a genetic-environmental interaction. Genetic liability for mood disorders may exist across a spectrum of phenotypes (e.g., Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, Major Depression), which makes isolating specific genetic factors for any single phenotype more challenging. Nonetheless, various genetic approaches, including linkage studies, candidate gene association studies, epigenetic and gene expression studies, high-risk studies, and genome-wide association studies have identified a growing list of gene variants that may contribute to the risk of developing bipolar disorder. In this chapter, we review these findings and summarize current knowledge regarding the genetics of bipolar illness.

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