manic mice? and circadian rhythms

Manic mice

Mice engineered to lack a specific gene showed behaviors similar to human mania in a study funded in part by NIMH; they were hyperactive, slept less, appeared less depressed and anxious, and craved sugar, cocaine and pleasure stimulation. The rodents’ behavior was more normal after lithium treatment or restoration of a functioning CLOCK protein, which the knocked-out gene codes for.

The article says this is similar to human mania, and it sounds like it’s similar enough to tell us useful stuff, although the mice don’t sound bipolar, just, as they say, behaving similarly to some aspects of manic humans.

The CLOCK protein is involved in circadian rhythms. And so here is some interesting stuff on circadian rhythms in bipolar disorder, and on how lithium works, from one of my favorite bipolar disorder sites, Jim Phelps’ Psych Education. Lots of science, lots of high-level information that isn’t very widely spread, and an excellent site for info on bipolar II in general and on anxiety in bipolar.


2 Responses to manic mice? and circadian rhythms

  1. […] Circadian rhythms are important in bipolar disorder; lithium is involved in helping reset circadian rhythms.   But we have other rhythms, too.  Social rhythm disruption often shows up in bipolar disorder, when people swing between the gregariousness and over-gregariousness of hypo/mania, and the withdrawal of depression.  And externally regulated social rhythms (being around and not around people on a regular schedule) can help regulate bipolar disorder.  (Not all on their own, duh, nor for everyone, but they can be helpful.) […]

  2. […] crazy mice! We had the manic mice; now, the schizophrenic mice!  Or, more accurately, the mouse model of mania and the mouse model […]

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