Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New gene variant may explain psychotic features in bipolar disorder

Date:
March 5, 2013
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
Researchers have found an explanation for why the level of kynurenic acid (KYNA) is higher in the brains of people with schizophrenia or bipolar disease with psychosis. The study identifies a gene variant associated with an increased production of KYNA.

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have found an explanation for why the level of kynurenic acid (KYNA) is higher in the brains of people with schizophrenia or bipolar disease with psychosis. The study, which is published in the scientific periodical Molecular Psychiatry, identifies a gene variant associated with an increased production of KYNA.

The discovery contributes to the further understanding of the link between inflammation and psychosis, and might pave the way for improved therapies. Kynurenic acid (KYNA) is a substance that affects several signalling pathways in the brain and that is integral to cognitive function. Earlier studies of cerebrospinal fluid have shown that levels of KYNA are elevated in the brains of patients with schizophrenia or bipolar diseases with psychotic features. The reason for this has, however, not been fully understood.

KMO is an enzyme involved in the production of KYNA, and the Karolinska Institutet team has now shown that some individuals have a particular genetic variant of KMO that affects its quantity, resulting in higher levels of KYNA. The study also shows that patients with bipolar disease who carry this gene variant had almost twice the chance of developing psychotic episodes.

KYNA is produced in inflammation, such as when the body is exposed to stress and infection. It is also known that stress and infection may trigger psychotic episodes. The present study provides a likely description of this process, which is more likely to occur in those individuals with the gene variant related to higher production of KYNA. The researchers also believe that the discovery can help explain certain features of schizophrenia or development of other psychotic conditions.

"Psychosis related to bipolar disease has a very high degree of heredity, up to 80 per cent, but we don't know which genes and which mechanisms are involved," says Martin Schalling, Professor of medical genetics at Karolinska Institutet's Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, also affiliated to the Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM). "This is where our study comes in, with a new explanation that can be linked to signal systems activated by inflammation. This has consequences for diagnostics, and paves the way for new therapies, since there is a large arsenal of already approved drugs that modulate inflammation."

The study was financed with grants from Karolinska Institutet, the Swedish Research Council, the Söderström-Königska Foundation, the Royal Physiographic Society, the Fredrik and Ingrid Thuring Foundation, the Åhlén Foundation, the Department of Clinical Psychiatry at Huddinge University Hospital, the William Lion Penzner Foundation, and the US government.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Karolinska Institutet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C Lavebratt, S Olsson, L Backlund, L Frisén, C Sellgren, L Priebe, P Nikamo, L Träskman-Bendz, S Cichon, M P Vawter, U Ösby, G Engberg, M Landén, S Erhardt, M Schalling. The KMO allele encoding Arg452 is associated with psychotic features in bipolar disorder type 1, and with increased CSF KYNA level and reduced KMO expression. Molecular Psychiatry, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/mp.2013.11

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "New gene variant may explain psychotic features in bipolar disorder." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305080741.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2013, March 5). New gene variant may explain psychotic features in bipolar disorder. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305080741.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "New gene variant may explain psychotic features in bipolar disorder." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305080741.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins