Causes of Bipolar Disorder

Causes for bipolar disorder vary from person to person.

Most scientists now agree that there is no single cause for bipolar disorder Rather, many factors act together to produce the illness.

Because bipolar disorder tends to run in families, researchers have been searching for specific genes. These are the microscopic “building blocks” of DNA inside all cells that influence how the body and mind work and grow are passed down through generations that may increase a person’s chance of developing the illness.

But genes are not the whole story.

Studies of identical twins, who share all the same genes, indicate that both genes and other factors play a role in bipolar disorder. If bipolar symptoms were entirely due to genes, then the identical twin of someone with the illness would always develop the illness. Research has shown that this is not the case. But if one twin has bipolar disorder, the other twin is more likely to develop bipolar symptoms than another sibling would be.

In addition, findings from gene research suggest that bipolar disorder, like other mental illnesses, does not occur because of a single gene.

It appears likely that many different genes act together, and in combination with other factors of the person or the person’s environment. Many scientist believe that behavior modification, and cognitive therapy can be very helpful with managing these environmental factors.

Finding the genes, each of which contributes only a small amount toward the vulnerability to bipolar disorder, has been extremely difficult. But scientists expect that the advanced research tools now being used will lead to these discoveries and to new and better treatments for bipolar symptoms.

Most people with bipolar disorder, even those with the most severe forms, can achieve substantial stabilization of their mood swings and related bipolar symptoms with proper treatment.

Because bipolar disorder is a recurrent illness, long-term preventive treatment is strongly recommended by most doctors.

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