Research NewsGenetics

Manic-Depression Findings Spark Polarized Debate

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Science  05 Apr 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5258, pp. 31-32
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5258.31


For researchers trying to decipher the genetics of manic depression, the past decade has been a long “down” period with few “up” interludes. Candidate genetic loci on different chromosomes have been announced, disproved, and cast aside with dispiriting frequency. Scientists now think the illness likely involves interactions among many genes, and two research groups have just published some of the first studies designed to search for multiple genes. But in a debate mirroring the polarized nature of the disease, some researchers see their results—which identify possible loci on chromosomes 6, 13, 15, and 18—as signs of an upswing, while others take a darker view and doubt the new work is much of an improvement over the past.