Predicting Outcomes and Preventing Disease
The Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program is helping to lay the new foundation of medical research. The program brings together national collaborators, thereby creating larger sample sizes to be made available to scientists around the world. It is increasingly apparent that a detailed longitudinal course of study is necessary to understand the underpinnings of bipolar disorder. Understanding how the interactions between individual and his/her environment result in the manifestation of bipolar disorder is pivotal to the development of novel treatment strategies.
Requirements for studying bipolar illness include:
- Understanding the interactions between genes, life stresses and environmental experiences in causing bipolar disorder
- Integrating genetics, stress, psychological factors and clinical studies to enable clinicians to make an accurate diagnosis, choose the best treatments, and prevent recurrences of the disease
- Diagnosing and treating individuals earlier in life, monitoring their progress over years to understand the different courses of the illness, and linking genetic vulnerabilities with clinical interventions
Unique characteristics of the Prechter Bipolar Genetics Repository include:
- Emphasis on those with early onset, especially adolescents
- Ongoing relationships and frequent evaluations of participants at regular intervals to establish longitudinal patters
- The first “translational” (“bench-to-bedside”) bipolar project to integrate genetic, longitudinal biomedical and clinical outcome measures
- Incorporating established partnerships with Johns Hopkins, Penn State, Stanford and Weill Cornell Universities
- Confidential availability of coded DNA samples and clinical information to scientists worldwide to accelerate knowledge breakthroughs
To learn more about participating, or to obtain more information about the projects, please call 1-877-UM-GENES.