Neuropsychiatric geneticist Dr. Jehannine Austinprovides a fascinating insight into the “bipolar gene” and “bipolar jar”, genetic and environmental factors that increase the risk for bipolar disorder, the latest in genetic testing for bipolar disorder, and what you should know before having children as a parent with bipolar disorder. 

Hosted by Dr. Erin Michalak.

Dr Jehannine Austin talkBD Bipolar Disorder Podcast

Dr. Jehannine Austin is the Executive director of the BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services Research Institute and Professor in Psychiatry & Medical Genetics. Dr. Austin is a board-certified genetic counselor and their research work involves studying the impact of genetic counseling for people with bipolar disorder and psychiatric disorders, and their families. Dr. Austin heads the Translational Psychiatric Genetics Group which includes the world’s first specialist psychiatric genetic counselling service. Dr. Austin member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada, and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Dr. Austin’s work aims to make psychiatric genetics relevant to people with mental illness and their families by developing new counseling-based and biologically-based treatments.

Chapters & Timestamps

01:05 About Dr. Austin 
05:43 The “Bipolar Gene” 
09:05 Stressful Life Events (Triggers) 
14:08 The “Bipolar Jar” (Environment vs. Genes) 
18:55 Your Genetic Vulnerability to Bipolar Disorder 
22:50 Preventing Bipolar Episodes (Protective Factors) 
28:02 Top Protective Factors 
30:23 Genetic Counselling 
32:20 Genetic Testing for Bipolar Disorder 
41:20 Pharmacogenomics (Genetic Testing for Medication) 
46:51 A Message To Those Planning to Have Children


How Genetics & Your Life Experiences Cause Bipolar Disorder
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Can Bipolar Disorder Be Predicted or Diagnosed by Genetic Testing In 2023?
Should You Have Children If You Have Bipolar Disorder?