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Kerry Katona signs up for Cardiff bipolar study

13 May 2009

Television celebrity Kerry Katona is one of the latest bipolar sufferers to volunteer for the world’s largest study into the disorder, run from Cardiff University.

The former Atomic Kitten star and I’m a Celebrity…winner has had a long struggle with bipolar disorder, often in the public eye.

Anxious to learn more about the disorder, and to contribute to scientific research into its origins, she recently visited Professor Nick Craddock at Cardiff University’s School of Medicine. Her discoveries are to be shown on her latest MTV series Kerry Katona: What’s the Problem?

Kerry was shown the laboratory where Professor Craddock and his team are working to identify the causes and triggers of bipolar disorder. The study aims to improve understanding of this severe mood disorder, in the hope this will lead to improved treatment and a better quality of life for those who suffer.

Kerry also donated a blood sample for the research project. Professor Craddock explained that bipolar affects people in many different ways, and the team needs to study as many people as possible to understand the full range of the disorder. Working with colleagues at the University of Birmingham, the team is aiming to recruit 6,000 bipolar sufferers to the study.

Professor Craddock also conducts a detailed interview with Kerry about her mood disorder and her past. MTV viewers will see him reassure her that many other bipolar sufferers have been through similar experiences and feelings to those she describes.

Professor Craddock said: "Kerry had a real interest in learning more about bipolar and about the work we are doing here. We were very grateful to her - as we are to all our volunteers - for contributing to our search for the causes of this important and serious illness. There’s still a lot we don’t know about bipolar but I hope we were able to provide Kerry with some of the answers she was looking for."

Kerry Katona: What’s the problem? is broadcast on MTV One this Sunday (May 17) at 10pm and follows Kerry on a journey to live with her disorder and understand more about it.

She is not the first celebrity to have visited Professor Craddock to discuss bipolar disorder. The actor and writer Stephen Fry came to the School of Medicine in 2006 to discuss his condition and also contributed to the research study.

The Cardiff team is still looking for bipolar sufferers to come forward to help with the research. Further information about the study, and how to take part, can be found at www.bdrn.org or www.cardiff.ac.uk/medic/subsites/bipolar/studies . Alternatively, you can contact the Mood Disorders Research Group on 02920 744392 or e-mail moodresearch@cardiff.ac.uk .

ENDS

Notes to editors

For further information, please contact:

Professor Nick Craddock,
School of Medicine,
Cardiff University,

Tel 02920 687067
email: craddockn@cardiff.ac.uk

Stephen Rouse,
Public Relations Office,
Cardiff University.

Tel: 029 2087 5596
email: RouseS@cardiff.ac.uk

Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Visit the University website at: www.cardiff.ac.uk

SR

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