Modelling facets of mania - new directions
related to the notion of endophenotypes

Einat H.
Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Research,
College of Pharmacy,
University of Minnesota Duluth,
Duluth MN, USA.
J Psychopharmacol. 2006 Jan 9;


The lack of appropriate animal models is a major limitation in research of bipolar disorder (BPD): at this time there are very few models for this devastating disease. Whereas limited attempts have been made to develop comprehensive models for BPD, the new notion of endophenotypes encourages us to explore the possibility of developing separate models for separate facets of the disorder. Since more models are available for depression, there is a dire need for models for mania that will be relatively easy and simple to induce and test and will therefore be practical for purposes of screening possible new drugs or mutant mice that are developed based on novel molecular theories. Such models may already be tentatively available as they were developed in the context of other disorders, but there is a need to validate them for mania. The present paper proposes such models for most of the facets of mania including: increased energy, activity or restlessness; extreme irritability; reduced sleep; provocative, intrusive or aggressive behaviour; increased sexual drive; abuse of drugs; distractibility, reduced ability to concentrate; and unrealistic beliefs in one's abilities and powers resulting in poor judgement. Validating these models may demand a major research effort but it may be worthy as validated models for the different facets of mania could then be used efficiently and may be utilized to construct a standard battery of tests that can serve to explore the various components of manic-like behaviour in rodents.
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