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Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2007 Feb;7(1):22-6. Epub 2006 Oct 19.

Neurotrophic signaling cascades in the pathophysiology and treatment of bipolar disorder.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Pathophysiology, Mood and Anxiety Disorders Research Program, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-4405, USA.


Increasing evidence suggests that bipolar disorder (BPD) is associated with regional brain volumetric reductions, accompanied by cellular atrophy and/or loss. Considerable data suggest that the protypical drugs for BPD--lithium and valproate--when administered in therapeutically relevant paradigms regulate neurotrophic signaling cascades. Notably, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, the extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway, the glycogen synthase kinase-3-mediated pathway and Bcl-2 are major targets for mood stabilizers. Further data suggest that agents which directly target neurotrophic signaling cascades may have considerable utility for the treatment of this devastating illness.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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