Genetic Case Control and Brain Imaging Studies of Mental Illness and Dementia. This is shortened to DNA Polymorphisms in Mental Illness (DPIM).

What is the study about?

The research is looking into the genetics of Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia and Alcoholism. The aim of our study is pave the way for new treatments and preventative strategies. These may be more personalised and also associated with fewer or absent side effects. We do this by using participant DNA samples to look for mutations in specific genes.  If a mutation is found, we can then analyse how that might influence the function of the protein it codes for.  For example, we have been looking at Ankyrin-3 (a gene which codes for Ankyrin-G protein).  Ankyrin-G is known to modulate the influence of Lamotrigine on sodium channels.  Through this research, it may be possible, in the future, to modify the effect of Lamotrigine when it is prescribed by clinicians for patients. We are not aiming to develop predictive tests for Bipolar Disorder, but we are trying to minimise (or potentially eliminate) side effects of mood stabilising drugs.

Who can take part?

Participants and normal controls for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, alcoholism and autism must be of white/Caucasian English, Irish, Scottish or Welsh extraction and have both parents and all four grandparents of English, Irish, Welsh or Scottish ethnicity, with the exception that one grandparent who may be of white European Caucasian origin, but not Jewish.  The Ancestry Check List is used to record this information.  

Normal control volunteers must have no personal or family history of mental illness such as anxiety neurosis, autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, unipolar affective disorder, alcoholism, Giles de la Tourette Syndrome or Alzheimer’s dementia. Both parents and all four grand-parents must be of Caucasian English, Irish, Welsh or Scottish ancestry. They should be excluded if there is mental illness of any type in the 1st degree relatives of normal control volunteers. .

What is involved?

All you would have to do is a one-off interview and have a blood sample

How do I get involved?

If you are interested in taking part or would like some more information please contact Jane Gregg, Clinical Research Coordinator, on 019327 222 47 or jane.gregg@sabp.nhs.uk . Alternatively you can contact the Trust’s Principal Investigator for the study Dr. Ramin Nilforooshan, Ramin.Nilforooshan@sabp.nhs.uk .