Archive for Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bipolar disorder linked with older dads

September 2, 2008


— Children born to older fathers face a greater chance of developing bipolar disorder, according to one of the largest studies linking mental illness with advanced paternal age.

Previous research has connected schizophrenia and autism with older dads, and a Danish study published last year added bipolar disorder. The new study led by researchers at Sweden's Karolinska Institute strengthens the evidence.

The leading theory is that older men's sperm may be more likely to develop mutations. Even so, the odds of a person becoming bipolar are so low that the study's authors said it shouldn't dissuade older men from becoming fathers.

Researchers analyzed Swedish national registry data from more than 80,000 people. The risks started increasing around age 40 but were strongest among those 55 and older. Children born to these dads were 37 percent more likely to develop bipolar disorder than those born to men in their 20s.

They also faced more than double the risk of developing bipolar disorder before age 20. Scientists call that early onset disease, and while they have long known that bipolar disorder tends to run in families, early onset disease has been thought to be most strongly linked with genetics.


number3of5 9 years, 8 months ago

This study is a laugh and a half. The three people in my family that have been diagonosed with bipolar disorder were born to dads in their teens or early twenties. So, I'm laughing at this study. HA HA.

Shardwurm 9 years, 8 months ago

Um...all it says is that the odds of being diagnosed with this disorder goes up with older doesn't say you can't get it from younger ones.

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