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Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet. 2003 Nov 15;123C(1):10-7.

Anticipation and repeat expansion in bipolar disorder.

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Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Wales College of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff, UK.


Anticipation is the phenomenon whereby a disease becomes more severe and/or presents with earlier onset as it is transmitted down through generations of a family. The only known mechanism for true anticipation is a class of mutations containing repetitive sequences exemplified by the pathogenic trinucleotide repeat. Studies of bipolar disorder (BPD) are consistent with the presence of anticipation and, by inference, the possibility that trinucleotide repeats contribute to this disorder, although it is possible that these data are the result of methodological problems. On the assumption that anticipation in BPD may be real, several surveys of the genome of BPD probands for large trinucleotide repeats have been conducted, as have studies of many repeat-containing candidate genes. No pathogenic triplet repeat has yet been unambiguously implicated.

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