Also known as manic-depressive illness, bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

Approximately 60 million people worldwide1 suffer from bipolar disorder at any given time. Although the age onset of bipolar disorder varies greatly, most cases commence during childhood when individuals are 15 to 19 years old.

Doctors generally accept the theory that genetic defects are the primary contributing factor of bipolar disorder and that stressors from one’s environment can contribute too. By disturbing the sufferer’s sleep-wake cycles – and in turn, their brain chemistry, the stressful life events may bring on manic, hypomanic, or depressive episodes.

Signs that someone may have bipolar disorder include an increased fast speech, sleeping less, an increased level of energy, impulsive decisions, irritability and a sudden increase in self-confidence. The person may also experience restlessness, hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.

Without proper treatment, people with bipolar disorder may develop severe mania or depression. If bipolar disorder is recognized early, it can be treated and managed well. In fact, many people who live with bipolar disorder spend much of their lives symptom-free.

Through our One Mind Rising Star Awards grant program and other funding support channels, One Mind has supported the following scientists in their important and influential bipolar disorder focused research:

1 World Health Organization