Johns Hopkins researchers said they have developed genetically engineered mice that display behaviors similar to those found in human bipolar disorder.
The researchers also said the abnormal behaviors in the mice can be reversed using existing bipolar treatments such as lithium, a Johns Hopkins Medicine release said.
The research may lead to better understanding of the genes linked to the risk of human bipolar disorder and may provide an animal model for testing new treatments, the release said.
The mice in the study specifically were missing the protein ankyrin-G in some of their brain neurons. This defect may result in animals that are hyperactive and less prone to exhibit fear, the release said.
The mice were also likely to exhibit social defeat stress more than normal mice – such as the manic and depression moods which are shown in humans with bipolar disorder, the release said.