November 13, 2009
Science Daily/BioMed Central
Malfunctioning circadian clock genes may be responsible for bipolar disorder in children. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Psychiatry found four versions of the regulatory gene RORB that were associated with pediatric bipolar disorder.
Alexander Niculescu from Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, US, worked with a team of researchers at Harvard, UC San Diego, Massachusetts General Hospital and SUNY Upstate Medical University to study the RORA and RORB genes of 152 children with the condition and 140 control children.
They found four alterations to the RORB gene that were positively associated with being bipolar. Niculescu said, "Our findings suggest that clock genes in general and RORB in particular may be important candidates for further investigation in the search for the molecular basis of bipolar disorder".