Jun 17, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Inherited Sleeps And Activity Measures Linked To Bipolar Disorder

Jan 11, 2016 01:00 AM EST


Bipolar disorder or also known as "manic-depressive disorder" is a mood disorder that is characterised by severe and sudden mood swings often called as 'episodes.' This is an illness once thought to be only caused by either heredity or the environment. But according to a recently published study, inherited sleep patterns and activity measurements are also factors that can be associated with it. 

A group of scientists from different universities around the United States of America had gathered to start the first ever study of this particular topic. According to Joseph Takahashi, from the University of Texas' Southwestern Medical Centre, they were able to find at least 13 traits of inherited sleep and activity measurements that can tell whether a person is experiencing bipolar disorder. He also added that they were able to trace these traits back to a specific chromosome.

The experiment carried on with the team focusing on 558 members of families from various places such as Central Valley, Costa Rica, and Antioquia, Colombia. Out of these group members, 136 of them have bipolar disorder, while 422 of them are not affected and have no mental condition. All of the study subjects were asked to wear an accelerometer on their wrists for at least two weeks for a continued test. The data from this device will then be retrieved by the researchers in order for them to assess the sleep cycles and general amount of time that they used to accomplish various activities.

After the study, they found out that those who are with bipolar disorder have gotten out of bed later than those who don't have the mood condition. The participants without bipolar disorder are also much more active and can stay awake longer than those who have the illness. According to Nelson Freimer, a professor from the University of California, the study showcases the step in identifying the genetic root of this mood disorder. And that it provides new information that can later be used in diagnosing and preventing this particular illness in the future.

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