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New treatments for bipolar disorder will be highlighted in July 11 Prechter Lecture at U-M Depression Center


ANN ARBOR, Mich. — For the 5.7 million Americans with bipolar disorder, finding effective treatments can pose a serious challenge. But recent research has shown promise for expanding the number of medicines that can be used to prevent the manic “highs” and depressed “lows” that characterize this condition.

On Friday, July 11 at 11 a.m., a national expert on the treatment of bipolar disorder will discuss these new horizons in bipolar disorder treatment in a lecture at the University of Michigan Depression Center. The talk will be the second annual ever Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund Lecture, named for an automotive pioneer whose life was cut short by bipolar disorder in 2001.

Terence Ketter, M.D., of Stanford University will give the talk, and discuss how new options for treating bipolar disorder are actually helping reveal differences between newly recognized subtypes of the disorder.

By better understanding the different varieties of bipolar disorder, and the most effective treatment combinations for each one, it may be possible to help patients more quickly and efficiently tame their symptoms and lead a productive life.

Ketter’s talk, titled "New Treatment Options for Bipolar Disorder”, will be held in the auditorium on the lower level of the Rachel Upjohn Building, at 4250 Plymouth Rd. in Ann Arbor. It is free and open to the public.

As chief of the Bipolar Disorder Clinic at the Stanford University Medical Center and a professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences at the Stanford School of Medicine, Ketter performs research on the origins, symptoms and treatment of Bipolar disorder.

Using brain imaging, new medications, and other tools, he has helped increase understanding of the disorder. Two groups of medicines that appear especially promising, he says, are anticonvulsant drugs and new antipsychotic medicines.

The lecture is one of several initiatives created by Heinz Prechter’s wife, Waltraud “Wally” Prechter after his death. Another is the world’s largest private bipolar genetics repository, housed at the U-M Depression Center, which contains DNA samples from people with bipolar disorder, and from people without it, who act as comparison subjects. Launched at U-M in 2005, it is a joint project of U-M scientists and colleagues from Stanford, Cornell University and Johns Hopkins University.

The lecture series is sponsored by Comerica Inc., Chrysler Corp., Dearborn Sausage Company, the General Motors Foundation, Neiman-Marcus, Scott Snow Financial Services and Ernst & Young.


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