ON THE GENETIC TRAIL OF MANIC DEPRESSION

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The hunt for a suspected gene for manic depression -- which affects about 2 million Americans -- may be close to the finish with new findings that pinpoint a possible chromosomal "marker" for the disorder, according to a study published today in the November issue of Nature Genetics. A team of researchers from Columbia University and Israel report evidence that a known gene promoted manic-depression within the study group of 47 families they studied. While the study doesn't clinch it, it's the largest yet reported that sought a statistical link between manic-depression and a gene.