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Posted on Tue, Apr 10, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

$1 million gift will help U-M seek individualized treatments for bipolar disorder

By Cindy Heflin

A $1 million gift to the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center will help the university further its research into bipolar disorder and how to treat it.

The gift from Al and Florence Schwartzberg establishes the Steven M. Schwartzberg Memorial Fund, U-M said in a news release.


University of Michigan Depression Center

University of Michigan photo.

The Schwartzberg family’s gift, given in memory of their son, will advance studies being done in collaboration with the Depression Center’s Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund to discover individualized treatments for bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, U-M said in the release.

Since September, researchers have created stem cell lines from individuals with bipolar disorder, and with this gift will develop and characterize 30 additional lines over the next four years, U-M said.

Researchers are exploring how brain cells from a person with bipolar disorder form and react to stressors and medications - compared with someone who does not have bipolar disorder.

“Soon, someone with bipolar disorder, or any medical disorder, could have their own stem cell lines available to model how their nervous system will react to a specific medication,” said Melvin McInnis, a professor at the U-M Medical School, the principal investigator of the Prechter Fund, and associate director of the U-M Depression Center. "This is the holy grail of personalized medicine and will radically change the approach to medicine.”

Steven Schwartzberg died three years ago after a long struggle with bipolar disorder.

“Steven was a brave, sweet and sensitive soul who had to fight a fight that many others in the U.S. are suffering through today,” Harris Schwartzberg, a U-M alumnus and Steven’s brother, said in the news release. “We hope that by supporting the work of the dedicated stem cell and clinical researchers at U-M, we will be closer to putting an end to this insidious disease that negatively affects the lives of so many.”

Bipolar disorder affects nearly 6 million adults in the United States. It is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain and is marked by significant changes in mood, thoughts, energy and behavior.



Wed, Apr 11, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

PERSONALITY AND FUNCTIONAL PSYCHOSES : I thank for reporting this news release from University of Michigan. I am still hoping to hear a response from Dr. Melvin McInnis, the principal investigator of Bipolar Disorder at U-M Depression Center. This proposed study does not address the problem of individual's personality which is the underlying problem of this clinical condition described as Bipolar Disorder. The personality is typically characterized by an imperviousness to reasoned argument. A person with Bipolar Disorder has a personality problem that makes it difficult to have a rational understanding of reality. We will be forced to investigate and understand the problem of personality development. The administration of therapeutic agents and other interventions like electroconvulsive therapy to change the mood and behavior would only give temporary relief as the underlying personality defect remains unchanged. This concept shared in this news story is fundamentally flawed. The issue is not that of designing drugs for use in specific individuals. Each individual has a variety of other cells, tissues, and organs in the body. The drugs that we use in the chemical treatment of depression, mania, and Bipolar Disorder cause undesirable side-effects in the rest of the body. Very often, treatment has to be changed or stopped due to drug toxicity and side-effects. The drug that initially produced useful change in mood and behavior becomes ineffective after a period of its usage and the symptoms recur. We have to look for a strategy to transform the personality of the individual and hence I have proposed the use of the Medical Doctrine of Dialectical Spiritualism. This is not about the Spirit or Soul that your Pastor or Priest or your Scriptures describe. This is about the material substance in which thought, feeling, mood, emotion, and energy are experienced and this substance has the ability called discernment and it can help to control Behavior.

Dog Guy

Wed, Apr 11, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

Wow! what a generous gift! . . . But he U of M will probably just spend it on administration. . . . Exciting news! This disorder hasn't a chance against U of M. . . . Nevertheless, no previous research has panned out, so why should this? . . . Medication custom designed expressly for the individual--a brilliant approach! . . . Such a materialist, chemical view could not possibly brake a personal emotional roller coaster. . . . What a great donation! . . .


Wed, Apr 11, 2012 : 7:58 a.m.

Nice, now they can maybe get the truth of it's existence.I have heard long and drawn out debates about bipolar disorder, and both sides had a great argument. One side believes it is just a small part of a bigger picture, and the other-side believes it to be the whole picture, and another side believes it doesn't exist at all, and is just misdiagnosed. I say there are so many toxins (200,000+) that have been released sense the finding of fire and the ability to create it. Mental illness is growing more and more per cap, that it is getting out of control. Autism is up some 178% sense 1978, and that is an incredible growth. I believe toxins, especially plastic toxins, have the biggest impact on mental, and physical systems in all creatures on Earth. I do hope they do find this wonder drug/therapy, and it will bring us closer to a cure for all kinds of disfunctions, in all Earth bound creatures.


Wed, Apr 11, 2012 : 4:35 a.m.

Man is a Spiritual Being : Thank you Veracity for your response. I understand man as a physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual being. Medical Sciences describe the anatomy, physiology of man and further describe as to how disease affects the structure and function, often termed Pathology. Psychology and Psychiatry are concerned with mental health. Sociology describes social aspects of man's behavior. It is fairly well understood that man has moral concerns and uses discernment. I relate the Spiritual function with Consciousness and Intelligence and find that the living substance called Protoplasm is conscious and performs its functions like Nutrition, Metabolism, Motion, and Reproduction with Intelligence carrying out several complex, sequential tasks with purpose and plan. In the human organism, the functional unity of cells, tissues, and organs is achieved by the Reticular Formation of the Brain Stem. At this level, the organism establishes its Identity and Individuality and the entire organism displays functional subservience to support this identity and Individuality. It represents the Soul as the Knower and the Enjoyer of the entire human body. In general terms, any sickness, any injury which has features that relate to lack of functional harmony, lack of inner balance or equilibrium, have a spiritual basis as they indicate aspects of spiritual well-being. In Bipolar Disorder there is disharmony between thinking and emotional aspects of mental health. The mood and thought are not consistent with an external reality; the person is depressed or excited for no apparent external reason. The personality is well-integrated if thinking and emotions are synchronized. The Knowing-Self can achieve this balance between different mental functions by recognizing and by being aware of its presence and applying instinctual feelings of compassion to regain functional harmony. We enjoy normal mental health because of harmonious interactions.


Tue, Apr 10, 2012 : 5:12 p.m.

Much of bipolar is caused by inadequate blood sugar control. Ditching refined sugar, coffee and alcohol helps. But dietary intervention won't sell drugs. I was never outright bipolar, I think, but my mind is much more stable now.


Tue, Apr 10, 2012 : 4:44 p.m.

THE MEDICAL DOCTRINE OF DIALECTICAL SPIRITUALISM : I define Spiritualism as the inner potency that maintains Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility in the 'inner environment'( Milieu Interieur ) of man and it is reflected in the 'Homeostatic' mechanisms that maintain the stability and the constant nature of inner environment to perform vital living functions. Spiritualism is an internal, mutually beneficial partnership between cells, tissues, and organs of the human organism and the Human Person whose physical identity is established by their functions. Bipolar Disorder is characterized by a dysfunction and it reflects the absence of inner Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility. It leads us to investigate the nature of Intraspecific Biotic interactions, the interactions between the cells of the same multicellular organism. The interactions of the components of non-living physical matter is governed by the Laws of Physics and Chemistry. The interactions between living cells and living organisms and the environment in which they live is governed and is operated by the Power/Energy/Force called Compassion. Spiritualism is the Connection between man and the source of Compassion to establish Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility. I find such Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility in my biological existence and it is not about religious rituals, religious practices, meditation, or religious thoughts. It is about knowing the 'Knowing-Self' who is the Enjoyer and the Knower of my physical body, mind, and soul.


Tue, Apr 10, 2012 : 5:08 p.m.

So you believe that bipolar disorder is a spiritualism problem? I am afraid that I have lost the path going from "A" to "B". Nevertheless I am glad that your "knowing self" is keeping you happy.


Tue, Apr 10, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

What a great donation. Research, treatment and education for bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses are underfunded and misunderstood. Thank you to the Schwartberg family.


Tue, Apr 10, 2012 : 3:25 p.m.

A wonderful gift from the Schwartzberg family in memory of Steven, and a significant step toward successful treatment for those affected by this often misunderstood illness.