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Disease Profile

Bipolar disorder

Prevalence
Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.

Unknown

Age of onset

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ICD-10

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Inheritance

Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease

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Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype

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X-linked
dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.

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X-linked
recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder

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Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.

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Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.

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Not applicable

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Other names (AKA)

Bipolar affective disorder; Bipolar illness; Manic depression;

Categories

Behavioral and mental disorders

Summary

Bipolar disorder is a type of mental illness that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, sleep and behavior. Signs and symptoms typically include alternating periods of manic episodes (joyful or excited states) and depressive episodes (very sad, hopeless or empty states). Mood episodes may also include symptoms of both mania and depression (a mixed state). It often develops in the late teens or early adult years, but age of onset can range from childhood to late in life. Bipolar disorder can run in families, although no single gene is thought to cause the condition. Many factors acting together likely increase a person's risk to develop the disorder. Treatment may include medication and psychotherapy for preventing relapses and reducing the severity of symptoms.[1]

Diagnosis

Studies of thousands of affected individuals have identified a number of "risk genes" (also called susceptibility genes) for bipolar disorder (i.e. genes in which changes appear to increase a person's risk to develop the disorder). However, none of these genes have been shown to have a strong enough effect on a person's risk to warrant clinical genetic testing for affected individuals.[2]

GeneTests lists the names of laboratories that are performing research genetic testing for bipolar disorder. To access the contact information for the research laboratories performing genetic testing, click here. Please note that most of the laboratories listed through GeneTests do not accept direct contact from patients and their families; therefore, if you are interested in learning more, you will need to work with a health care provider or a genetics professional.

Organizations

Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Supporting this Disease

    Organizations Providing General Support

      Learn more

      These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

      Where to Start

      • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
      • MedlinePlus Genetics contains information on Bipolar disorder. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
      • The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition for patients and caregivers.
      • The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has information on this topic. NIMH is part of the National Institutes of Health and is dedicated to understanding, treating, and preventing mental illnesses.
      • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.

        In-Depth Information

        • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
        • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
        • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Bipolar disorder. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

          References

          1. Bipolar Disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. September 28, 2011; https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/complete-index.shtml. Accessed 11/18/2011.
          2. Clement C Zai. Genetics of Bipolar Disorder. eMedicine. June 14, 2011; https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2004136-overview#a1. Accessed 11/21/2011.

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