Bipolar disorder is a chronic disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of elevated mood, i.e mania or in a milder form hypomania which in most cases alternates with depressive episodes. Bipolar spectrum conditions affect more than two percent of all people and most manifest symptoms during early adulthood. Our knowledge on the etiology and pathophysiology of the disorder is incomplete and this has impeded the development of new methods for treatment, diagnosis and prevention. We work broadly in trying to understand the causes of the disorder and to improve diagnosis and treatment.
I S:t Görans bipolar project (SBP), individuals with bipolar disorder are thoroughly assessed and followed over time. SBP enrolls patients with a confirmed bipolar disorder diagnosis after informed consent. Patients are currently recruited at Affektivt centrum in Stockholm and at Affektivt centrum in Göteborg.
In the STANLEY study we aim to identify genes and environmental factors that increase the risk of bipolar disorder. Heritability is the most important risk factor for bipolar disorder. Despite this, genetic studies of bipolar disorder have met with limited success. This is mainly due to the fact that bipolar disorder is genetically complex, i.e a large number of genes with individually modest effects interact to cause vulnerability to the disorder. The individuals in the STANLEY study are primarily recruited through the quality register for bipolar disorder but also persons identified through the national patient register take part in the study.
BipoläR is a national quality register for bipolar disorder. The purpose of the register is to improve follow-up and treatment of bipolar disorder. New treatment methods and education programs require evaluation and the quality register plays an important role in this. The register also plays an important role for research on bipolar disorder. BiopoläR began collecting data in 2004. Today, around 166 care units participate in the register and it contains data on approximately 13 000 patients.
Finally, we have launched an extensive research program to find biomarkers to improve diagnostics and treatment of bipolar disorder. This project includes patient data from the S:t Göran bipolar project, the STANLEY study and BipoläR. It is primarily financed by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research and involves researchers at Sahlgrenska Akademien at Göteborg University and at Karolinska Institutet.