Around 60 million people around the world suffer from bipolar affective disorder, also known as manic-depressive psychosis (MDP). People with this disease experience sudden changes in mood and vitality in a way that interferes with their lives.
Causes of MDP are unknown, but previous studies have examined the genetic nature of the disease. A study conducted by the National Institute of Science and Technology of Ulsan in South Korea, has tested the value of phospholipase Cγ1 in mice, and the results may explain the causal link between the protein and bipolar disorder.
The team genetically programmed mice to lack of phospholipase Cγ1 in the forebrain. Then they examined what happened to mice synapse – the point of contact between two neurons, which serves for the transmission of nerve impulse between the two cells.
The researchers found that the ability of the synapse to change its form, function, and strength was struck. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor – a protein that regulates the number of synapse functions, including operation of phospholipase Cγ1.
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