July 7, 2015
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Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund's E-newsletter
This e-newsletter has been sent to you because you are a friend or past supporter of the Prechter Fund at the University of Michigan Depression Center. If you would like to unsubscribe, you can do so on the bottom of this newsletter or by emailing our communications manager. 
Thank you to all who donated during the month of May!
We have received multiple gifts to support our research during the month of May (mental health awareness month). We hope everyone enjoys the silk scarves and ties that we sent out as a "thank you." Please look forward to a new limited-edition of the scarves and ties next year - in May 2016.
The microbiome sub-study of the Longitudinal Study of Bipolar Disorder

We all have billions of microorganisms and microbes that live in our digestive system, called our microbiome. Some of these resident bugs are beneficial and some are not. The makeup of our microbiome reflects many things – like the foods we eat, the environment we live in, the drugs we take, and many factors we don’t even understand yet. It is becoming increasingly clear that our microbiome can influence mood state and potentially risk of psychiatric illness. Yet, this field is in its infancy and there is limited understanding of which microbes are important for mental health or how they influence psychiatric disorders.

We have a unique opportunity to study these issues in research subjects who comprise the Prechter Longitudinal Study of Bipolar Disorder. The microbiome may be involved with both the physical and psychological components of bipolar disease burden. Bipolar individuals are at twice the risk of developing metabolic syndrome compared to the general population and, on average, have significantly higher  Body Mass Indexes (BMIs). Prior studies link the composition of the microbiome to obesity, and this may be a factor in bipolar illness-related obesity as well. Studies also suggest that the microbiome plays a role in mood and anxiety behavior.

Read more. 
"Ask the doctor" column for BP Magazine, penned by Melvin McInnis, M.D. 

Melvin G. McInnis, M.D., FRCPsych, is the principal investigator and scientific director of the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund. He is also the Thomas B. and Nancy Upjohn Woodworth Professor of Bipolar Disorder and Depression, Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Director, University of Michigan Depression Center.

He regularly writes an "Ask the doctor" column for BP Magazine:

Ask the doctor: Feeling better about SAD
Ask the doctor: Dealing with relapse
Ask the doctor: Putting the reins on your active brain
Ask the doctor: Is it ADHD or bipolar—or both? -- How to get an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment
For women with bipolar disorder, sleep quality affects mood

Poor sleep is associated with negative mood in women with bipolar disorder, according to researchers at Penn State College of Medicine and University of Michigan Medical School.

Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. The condition is marked by extreme mood episodes characterized as manic (highs) depressive (lows) or mixed.

Sleep problems are common in people with bipolar disorder, and poor sleep quality and bipolar disorder appear to exacerbate each other. Previous research shows that poor sleep quality is a symptom of depressive and manic episodes, and that lack of sleep can trigger mania.

“Patients with bipolar disorder often suffer with sleep problems even when many of their other symptoms are well-controlled,” said Dr. Erika Saunders, chair, department of psychiatry at Penn State College of Medicine and adjunct research investigator with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School. “Improving their sleep could not only better their quality of life, but also help them avoid mood episodes."

Click here to read more.
Note cards sale supports bipolar research

Kelly Elizabeth Beld’s family supports our research activities via the sale of beautiful greeting cards.

Excerpt from the website

"Why Fund Bipolar Research?"

Kelly had been struggling with bipolar for many years.  Despite that, she married and had 3 beautiful children--overcoming incredible periods of depression/mania but often right down the middle and able to function just fine.  However, while she would follow her medication schedule as prescribed by her doctors, she was, unfortunately, one of those for whom all the best doctors could not find a workable solution, which tragically led to her passing.

Click here to read more.
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The mission of the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund is to provide a repository of longitudinal clinical, genetic, and biological data to investigators worldwide for collaborative research on the causes, prevention, and treatment of bipolar disorder.
© 2015 Regents of the University of Michigan

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Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund | University of Michigan Depression Center 4250 Plymouth Road | Ann Arbor | MI | 48109-2700 
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