A Pharmacogenomic Clinical Trial

The aim of this study is to determine whether genetic factors can influence the response to a class of medication (Calcium Channel Blockers) in patients with bipolar disorder. The Principal Investigator is Dr. Elliot S. Gershon, Professor of Psychiatry and Human Genetics at University of Chicago.

Calcium Channel Blockers are a class of FDA-approved medication commonly used to treat high blood pressure and heart disorders, however there is evidence of bipolar patients who got better after starting this kind of medication.

The largest genetic research so far on Bipolar disorder published by the Psychiatric Genetic Consortium, based on many thousands of patients worldwide, showed that a Calcium Channel gene (CACNA1C) contributes to risk of illness. Based on our research on the function of this gene in the brain, we expect that manic patients with one of the common variants of CACNA1C will have the strongest treatment response to CCB medication.
We propose to add Calcium Channel Blockers to currently approved treatments for mania for all subjects in this clinical trial, and then examine their calcium channel genes looking for association with the drug response.