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Funding will further study of bipolar disorder in adolescence

April 10, 2012
by Shane Seger

The International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) will fund a project exploring the development of bipolar disorder in adolescence led by Hilary Blumberg, MD, associate professor of psychiatry, in the Child Study Center and of diagnostic radiology. Blumberg is the director of the Mood Disorders Research Program at Yale.

Bipolar disorder symptoms often emerge in adolescence, highlighting the importance of research during this critical period. Dr. Blumberg’s previous findings have shown that adolescence is a critical period in the development of the brain circuitry differences that underlie these symptoms, and that there are gender differences in symptoms and the course of the disorder.

Many of the brain regions involved in bipolar disorder are sensitive to the effects of hormones. Blumberg and her team think that studying bipolar disorder at the time of its onset, and understanding how hormones may alter brain circuitry development, could be instrumental in understanding how the disorder develops.

At the Mood Disorder Research Program, Blumberg leads an impressive multidisciplinary team of scientists from across the Yale campus. Experts from adolescent medicine, adult and child psychiatry, psychology, brain imaging, genetics, as well as the basic sciences are investigating fundamental models of brain development in adolescence and factors that can cause vulnerability to bipolar disorder.

The International Bipolar Foundation is a not for profit organization whose mission is to eliminate bipolar disorder through the advancement of research, to promote and enhance care and support services, and to erase associated stigma through public education.

For more information:

Yale Mood Disorders Research Program

International Bipolar Foundation

Submitted by Shane Seger on June 13, 2012