Bipolar research studies Mennonite genetics
October 8, 2018
HARRISONBURG, VA — “The Mennonite game” — tracing the genealogy of a new acquaintance to find a common ancestor — might be a fun pastime for people with Mennonite backgrounds, but such a relatively shallow gene pool is also helpful for understanding the neurobiology behind bipolar disorder.
Miller, who lives in Wauseon, Ohio, is one of the study’s nearly 1,000 participants, many of whom live in areas of the U.S. highly populated by Mennonites. The study also includes participants from Mennonite communities in Brazil and Canada.
Four decades ago, Miller learned she had bipolar disorder when manic episodes and deep depression abruptly ended her teaching career and led to multiple extended hospitalizations. She now manages her illness with medication.
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