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Bipolar disorder is characterized by a host of sleep-wake abnormalities that suggests that the reticular activating system (RAS) is involved in these symptoms. One of the signs of the disease is a decrease in high frequency gamma band activity, which accounts for a number of additional deficits. Bipolar disorder has also been found to overexpress neuronal calcium sensor protein 1 (NCS-1). Recent studies showed that elements in the RAS generate gamma band activity that is mediated by high threshold calcium (Ca2+) channels. This minireview provides a description of recent findings on the role of Ca2+ and Ca2+ channels in bipolar disorder, emphasizing the involvement of arousal-related systems in the manifestation of many of the disease symptoms. This will hopefully bring attention to a much-needed area of research and provide novel avenues for therapeutic development.
Arousal, Ca2+ channels, gamma oscillations, lithium, N-type, P/Q-type, cAMP/PKA, CaMKII.