Commonly Asked Questions

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What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels, cognition, and mood with or without one or more depressive episodes. The elevated moods are clinically referred to as mania or, if milder, hypomania. Individuals who experience manic episodes also commonly experience depressive episodes, or symptoms, or mixed episodes in which features of both mania and depression are present at the same time.

Why are researchers starting a biobank?

Having a Bipolar Biobank will make it much easier to conduct research studies about bipolar disorder because researchers will have access to blood samples, along with patient data, from thousands of people all in one place. The biobank will serve as a library for researchers; instead of having to look for volunteers for each new project, researchers can use samples from the biobank and share already collected data and results.

What will happen when I am in the study?

If you agree to participate, you will give samples and information to the Mayo Clinic Individualized Medicine Biobank for Bipolar Disorder, which will be used by many different researchers for many different studies. Most of the researchers who use the samples and information in the biobank will be studying DNA. DNA is found in cells in your body and contains all of your genetic information. Researchers are trying to figure out how genetic information affects what diseases people get, including bipolar disorder.

Will participants of the bipolar biobank personally benefit?

Participating in the Bipolar Biobank will not make your health better. It is for the benefit of research.

Biobank samples will serve as a resource that researchers can use for many studies. They will sometimes learn new information after examining the samples and information in the biobank. When that happens, they will share the information with other scientists and doctors. As a result, medical care may get better, including for those people with bipolar disorder. In that way, it is possible that you or your community could benefit from research using the Bipolar Biobank.

There is no guarantee that anyone will benefit, though. Even if someone does benefit, it may be many years before that happens.

How are samples and information stored?

None of the samples in the Bipolar Biobank will be stored with names, addresses, clinic numbers, birth dates, or social security numbers on them. Instead, samples will be assigned a unique code. No one will know which sample is a particular participant's just by looking at the label. Only certain members of the Mitochondrial Disease Biobank staff and Biospecimen Trust Oversight Group (BTOG) will know how to determine what participant goes with what sample.

For example:

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How long will your sample and personal medical information be kept in the bipolar biobank?

The Bipolar Biobank is a resource meant to serve the research community for years and there are no plans for it to end. By participating, you are agreeing to be a part of ongoing health and bipolar research conducted at Mayo Clinic. Your donation will enable researchers to examine the genetic roots of disease for many years to come. You can cease participation at any time by contacting the research team.

Will you be paid for participating in the bipolar biobank?

If you complete the two interviews, complete the questionnaire, donate a blood sample, and allow us to access your medical record, you will receive $20. This money is for the time you spend in this study interviewing, completing the questionnaire, and providing a blood sample. If you do not complete all activities by interviewing, completing the questionnaire, and providing a blood sample, you will not be paid. If you provide another sample or fill out another questionnaire in the future, you will not be paid again.

What does the study visit consist of for the bipolar biobank?

Participants in this Bipolar Biobank provide samples of blood, complete an interview and questionnaires, and allow access to medical records. The Bipolar Biobank will make it much easier to conduct research studies about bipolar disorder because researchers will have access to blood samples, along with patient data, from thousands of people all in one place.

Who is Eligible to Participate?

  • Age 18-80, male or female, any race/ethnicity
  • Have a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, Type I or II

Where can you participate?

The Bipolar Biobank research team is currently looking for participants at the following institutions: