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New study provides fascinating insight into genetic basis of bipolar disorder

August 12, 2019

Although mice without functional Ncan did not exhibit obvious defects in brain structure or basic cell communication, there did appear to be some perturbation in mechanisms associated with learning and memory, mechanisms that have been associated with the cognitive deficits observed in bipolar disorder. However, the authors caution that Ncan-deficient mice need to be re-examined for more subtle brain changes and behavioral abnormalities.

"Our results provide strong evidence that genetic variation in the gene NCAN is a common risk factor for bipolar disorder," concludes Dr. Cichon. "Further work is needed now to learn more about the biological processes that NCAN is involved in and how NCAN variants disturb neuronal processes in patients with bipolar disorder."

Source: Cell Press