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Scientific Breakthroughs & Caregiver Tips
Is Bipolar Disorder Hereditary?
There appears to be some genetic component of risk for developing bipolar disorder, but the medical community has not yet pinpointed the precise genes that increase risk. However, there is a significant link between the family history of the disorder and the diagnosis of the disorder in new patients.
- Individuals with one biological parent who has been diagnosed with the disorder have a 10-25% chance of developing the disorder themselves. When both parents have been diagnosed with the disorder, the risk increases to 10-50%.
- Individuals with a sibling or non-identical twin who has been diagnosed as bipolar have a 10-25% chance of developing the disorder. If an identical twin has the disorder, the chance of the other twin developing the disorder rises to 40-70%.
- The current consensus among researchers is that bipolar disorder is not caused by a single gene, but by a coincidence of several genes that each increase the risk of developing the disorder. Development of the disorder even in individuals with genetic risk factors is likely triggered by environmental factors.
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