US subsidy for bipolar research in Utrecht

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The University Medical Centre in Utrecht has received a subsidy of 1.5 million euros for research into bipolar disorder from the National Institute of Mental Health, a US government body.

The research will be carried out in collaboration with the University of California in Los Angeles. Total funding for the project is 4.4 million euros.

Over the next five years the UMC's Professor of Human Genetics, Roel Opheff, will chart the genetic makeup of 2,500 Dutch patients, their parents and siblings, investigating the role of genes in the development of bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression. The data will be collected in Utrecht and analysed in collaboration with UCLA.

The research follows on from a comparable project with schizophrenia patients in 2006 for which Professor Opheff also received subsidy from the NIMH. Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia overlap to a certain extent.

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