Purpose: To identify genes associated with good response to two commonly used mood stabilizing agents, lithium and valproate, in patients with bipolar disorder.
Study Description: We are looking to find genes associated with good response in patients with bipolar disorder to two mood stabilizers, lithium and valproate. The study has three phases. In the first phase, subjects are stabilized on lithium alone over a 4 month period. If stabilization does not occur, then subjects are placed on valproate. In the next phase, they are observed for one month after stabilization on lithium (or valproate) alone to ensure that they remain stable. In the final phase, subjects are observed for 2 years and monitored for relapse. Genetic material (DNA) is collected via a blood draw. The purpose of collecting a sample of genetic material is to study potential genetic causes of treatment response to mood stabilizing agents.