Bipolar disorder is a severe debilitating mental illness affecting over three and half million Americans. This illness crosses all gender and ethnic boundaries to cause extensive morbidly and mortality. With this tremendous burden on the patients, their family and society who are supporting them much research is underway to identify the pathology and pathophysiology. The biological research to date on bipolar disorder and the other major mental illness is tantalizing but vague. It has become clear, that to study this brain disorder, that animal models will not work and postmortem analysis is required. Additionally, with the current methodological advances such as mRNA expression analysis, which uses postmortem tissue the pace of discovery and demand for tissue is quickening. Unfortunately, the national collection effort is unable to supply enough tissue for all studies on bipolar illness. The NIMH recognizes this problem and has determined that increasing the collection is a research priority. This R-24 grant is to further develop the infrastructure of the Southwest Brain Bank into a national resource. The Southwest Brain Bank is a brain collection facility whose goal it is to collect and disseminate brain tissue from the severely mentally ill, especially bipolar illness. The brain bank received start up funding from Administrative Supplements for Human Postmortem Brain Research in Mental Illness NOT-MH-01-010. With this funding the brain bank was established in the department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The location on campus has several advantages. First, we are part of a very active Department of Psychiatry with access to both its academic strengths and to thousands of mentally ill patients. Second, the Medical Examiners office of Bexar County and the University Hospital, which are our major donation sites, are on campus. Because of these factors we have been successful in recruiting donations from the seriously mentally ill and normal controls. Funding for this grant will allow the Brain Bank to continue and expand its effort in becoming a national resource.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Resource-Related Research Projects (R24)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-X (01))
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Meinecke, Douglas L
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University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
Schools of Medicine
San Antonio
United States
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Bortolato, Marco; Walss-Bass, Consuelo; Thompson, Peter M et al. (2017) Manic symptom severity correlates with COMT activity in the striatum: A post-mortem study. World J Biol Psychiatry 18:247-254
Moskovitz, Jackob; Walss-Bass, Consuelo; Cruz, Dianne A et al. (2015) The enzymatic activities of brain catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and methionine sulphoxide reductase are correlated in a COMT Val/Met allele-dependent fashion. Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol 41:941-51
Gonzalez, Robert; Bernardo, Carmina; Cruz, Dianne et al. (2014) The relationships between clinical characteristics, alcohol and psychotropic exposure, and circadian gene expression in human postmortem samples of affective disorder and control subjects. Psychiatry Res 218:359-62
Marballi, Ketan; Cruz, Dianne; Thompson, Peter et al. (2012) Differential neuregulin 1 cleavage in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: preliminary findings. PLoS One 7:e36431
Thompson, P M; Cruz, D A; Olukotun, D Y et al. (2012) Serotonin receptor, SERT mRNA and correlations with symptoms in males with alcohol dependence and suicide. Acta Psychiatr Scand 126:165-74