Bipolar Patients’ Brain Cells Predict Response to Lithium

Recent studies show that the brain cells of patients with bipolar disorder are more sensitive to stimuli than other people’s brain cells.   “Researchers hadn’t all agreed that there was a cellular cause to bipolar disorder,” says Rusty Gage, a professor in Salk’s Laboratory of Genetics. “So our study is important validation that the cells of these patients really are different.”

The finding is among the first to show at a cellular level how the disorder affects the brain. Moreover, it reveals why some patients respond to treatment with lithium while others don’t.

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