Research Suggests that a Breast Cancer drug may help treat Bipolar Mania
About six million Americans suffer from bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder causes an individual to have extreme manic highs and very depressed lows. Often, bipolar individuals suffer from rapid cycling between manic and depressed states. If an individual is in a manic state (which may last days or weeks), they may exhibit irritability, restlessness, and suffer from sleep deprivation and distractibility.
Recently, researchers in Turkey released study results that indicated that the breast cancer treatment drug Tamoxifen helped treat the manic phase of bipolar disorder. Study results indicated that about half of the bipolar patients who were in a manic phase got better during the three week Tamoxifen study. While this study only involved about fifty individuals the results are promising.
Last year, the National Institute of Mental Health conducted a tamoxifen study that involved sixteen bipolar individuals who were in a manic phase, and they came up with similar results.
Tomoxifen inhibits an enzyme known as kinase C, which has been associated with manic episodes among bipolar individuals. A National Institute of Mental Health researcher, Husseni Manji, studied the function of kinase C in bipolar disorder for a decade, and long suspected that the protein enzyme had a role in bipolar mania.
Through his work, protein kinase C role in bipolar disorder was discovered. It appears that protein kinase C actually accelerates cell messaging during the bipolar manic phase.
During a manic episode, individuals may indulge in pleasure or risk seeking behaviors that may lead to fail marriages, bankruptcy, or legal problems. Consequently, if researchers or medical professionals could develop an effective treatment for mania, it might help bipolar individuals and their families live more normal lives.
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