Up to 3 per cent of people experience bipolar disorder, with recurring periods of high and low mood that affect wellbeing, relationships and ability to function effectively in work or study. People with a bipolar diagnosis also have reduced life expectancy, dying on average eight years earlier than the general population. By learning more about how people with bipolar disorder use and respond to medications, and engage with health services, it may be possible to design interventions that improve their length and quality of life.
About the project
The health records of people with bipolar disorder who are participants in The Sax Institute’s ongoing 45 and Up Study will be linked with data about their experiences and quality of life, to create a comprehensive picture of treatment practices and health outcomes in people with this condition. The resulting snapshot can show whether the treatment people receive helps them to recover and stay well, and their health outcomes can also be compared with the records of people in the 45 and Up cohort who do not have bipolar disorder, shedding light on any areas that may require a different approach.
The project will also use state-of-the-art whole genome sequencing of DNA samples from a subset of participants, allowing researchers to search for genetic factors that contribute to risk of bipolar disorder, and potentially for predicting which medications will be most effective for which individuals.