Bipolar disorder is defined by consecutive periods of depression and mania. Lithium, which is a mood regulator, is used as the first step towards treatment. The reaction given to the lithium treatment is not a hundred percent. Nevertheless, it is beneficial to assess the factors that would predict the answer. Thus, the patient can be protected from unnecessary side effects.
Genetics was found to have in association with the reaction given to the lithium treatment. The International Consortium on Lithium Genetics – ConLiGen released the biggest study ever carried out on the effectiveness of the lithium treatment. According to this study, a relation was found between two non-coding RNAs (IncRNAs) and the reaction given to lithium. AL157359.3 and AL157359.4. It was reported via repetitive studies that the presence of these non-coding RNAs predicted the positive reaction given to the lithium treatment.
A relation was determined between a protein named “Insulin Like Growth Factor (IGF-1)” and the functioning of lithium. Accordingly, if IGF-1 is externally linked to the lymphoblastoid cell line, sensitivity to lithium increases. This, in turn, sets forth the difference between the patients reacting positively to the lithium treatment and those who do not.
In a study carried out regarding pharmacogenetics and mania, the role of an enzyme named “CYP2D6” in metabolizing the drug was researched. It was determined that the CYP2D6 enzymes weakly metabolized the drug during the manic period.
The researches also included studies concerning new and safe treatments as an alternative to lithium. It was reported that an antioxidant named “Ebselen” imitating Lithium could be used in the treatment of bipolar disorder.
The studies show that it is required to have a personalized medicine in order for the patient to get an effective result from the treatment in bipolar disorders. Determining the bio-indicators via methods like Saliva test, etc. shows which SSRI-type drug would be useful in that person. Thus, the treatment can be implemented in a shorter period of time, avoiding possible side effects. Furthermore, thanks to the personalized medicine, repeated resort to the treatment due to the drugs they think to be useless is prevented for the patient, while decreasing the costs of treatment.