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Manic Depression Gene

Dr. David Curtis dcurtis at crc.ac.uk
Thu Dec 16 11:44:03 EST 1993

In article <60.617.5254.0N18E77F at canrem.com>, pete.dixon at canrem.com (Pete Dixon) writes:
> At a recent meeting of my Manic Depressive group a video was shown where they
> talked about how a causal gene/gene set had been identified on chromosome 11.
> The identification was confirmed by testing affected and non-affected family
> members among the Amish and other gene mapping-friendly groups.
> The strong implication to me was that there was now a genetic marker test for
> this gene. If there is can someone direct to sources, costs, availability
> information about these tests.

We're _very_ far from such a situation. The Amish result may well have been a false 
positive. There are a few positive association studies suggesting a role for 
mutations in this region leading to manic depression, but just as many negative
ones. Certainly many cases of manic depression are _not_ caused by genes in this region,
so the results of any negative test could be difficult to interpret, certainly
without testing many other members of a family. 

On the other hand, at any time there could be a big breakthrough which could bring
about the possibilities you envisage. We've seen this happen recently with 
Alzheimer's disease (though not to the extent of having simple tests for the majority 
of cases) and there's no reason why manic depression shouldn't be next - we're all
working hard enough at it. It just hasn't happened yet, that's all.

Dave Curtis

Academic Department of Psychiatry,    Janet:       dcurtis at UK.AC.CRC
St. Mary's Hospital,                  Elsewhere:   dcurtis at CRC.AC.UK
Praed Street, London W2.              EARN/Bitnet: dcurtis%CRC at UKACRL
Tel 071-725 1993                      Usenet: ...!mcsun!ukc!mrccrc!D.Curtis

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