Research in Bipolar Disorder and Other Mood Disorders

The Mary O’Daniel Stone and Bill Stone Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine–Evansville exponentially increases IU School of Medicine's bipolar disorder research capabilities.

The Stone Center enhances current bipolar disorder-related research into the genetics of the disease, the search for biomarkers to provide early diagnosis, and understanding of the impacts on the children of adults with bipolar disorder.

Better bipolar treatments through big data

The Mary O’Daniel Stone and Bill Stone Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry will create a first-of-its-kind comprehensive data platform for psychiatric research and machine learning, a resource with the potential to accelerate innovation in the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder and other mood disorders.

This data lake will draw from millions of patient records across the United States. Through medical artificial intelligence, a research team in Evansville will identify the most effective therapies and promising innovations by analyzing patient characteristics and prescription patterns that result in optimal outcomes.

This data lake would be continuously updated and expanded as new patient data is added, creating a resource for not only treating Hoosiers, but also making southwestern Indiana a national hub for research in child and psychiatric disorders by attracting talented researchers and investment capital to Evansville. 

a graduate student at work on a computer

Applying neuroscience expertise to bipolar disorder

By leveraging existing strengths in neuroscience research, scientists at the Stone Center are perfectly positioned to expedite potential breakthroughs in bipolar disorder and other mood disorders.

  • Animal Models

    To understand the foundations of a disease—the first step toward new therapies—it is crucial to model that disease in animals, mimicking the effects in humans as closely as possible.

    IU School of Medicine has become a leader in developing animal models that better reflect the characteristics of humans with Alzheimer’s disease. The same principles can be applied to develop animal models that could mimic the characteristics of bipolar disorder to better understand the disease and to develop and test potential new therapies.

  • Genetic Sequencing

    Many diseases are inherited. Others spring from environmental factors that cause changes in a person’s body. In both cases, problems arise when the order, or sequence, of DNA is altered.

    Understanding what’s happening in the sequence is vital to discovering ways to block or treat diseases. Since the human genome contains 3 billion DNA base pairs, isolating those changes takes enormous computing power.

    IU School of Medicine has built incredible computing capacity for DNA sequencing. This asset can be readily used to better understand the genetic components of bipolar disorder.

  • Imaging

    IU School of Medicine has amassed an extensive array of imaging tools for neuroscience research, including multiple MRI and PET scanners, cyclotrons to produce radioactive trace elements, and the capacity to process images and store enormous data files.

    These imaging tools provide 3D views of the brain, its structures, abnormalities, and protein compositions— tremendous tools that would be applied to bipolar disorder research.

  • Drug Discovery

    Taking what’s learned in the lab to a patient’s bedside in the form of a safe, effective drug is a long, arduous, and costly journey.

    As a founding member of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, IU School of Medicine unites a collaborative team of researchers from universities and life sciences companies across the state to tackle tough medical challenges.

    This expertise in drug discovery will help researchers at the Stone Center develop new therapies for bipolar disorder.

  • Bio Repository

    IU School of Medicine is home to the only national repository for blood, brain tissue, cerebrospinal fluid, and DNA relevant to Alzheimer’s disease research.

    Building and maintaining a national resource requires a complex system for cataloging and storage, and the computing power to manage, retrieve and share samples with researchers around the world.

    IU School of Medicine now manages samples from patients with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s diseases, and traumatic brain injuries. This expertise and equipment could also be used for samples provided by patients with bipolar disorder.