Genomic research into mental health

Published: 5 Sep 2017

Researchers will receive $2.46 million in funding for genomic research into the cause of bipolar disorder.

Funded by the NSW Genomics Collaborative Grants Program, the project will map the genetics of 1200 people in NSW with bipolar disorder.

The project could potentially identify the genetic makeup of people living with bipolar disorder and discover if they would benefit from personalised treatment.

Researchers from the Sax Institute, Neuroscience Research Australia, Black Dog Institute, University of NSW and the Prince of Wales Hospital will use whole genome sequencing techniques for the project.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the grant is a real game changer.

“It will allow researchers to apply cutting-edge science to find answers to how this significant mental health condition is influenced by genetics,” Mr Hazzard said.

Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies said about 250,000 people are affected by bipolar disorder in Australia.

“They face a range of issues, including reduced life expectancy due to increased risk of suicide and higher rates of severe cardiovascular disease,” Mrs Davies said.

Details about future funding for genomic medicine research will be released late 2017.

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