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Research into bipolar disorder at Oxford has received a major boost following a £3 million donation from the Page family. The legacy gift will support the development of innovative new treatments as well as improved methods of self-management for those with the condition.

Bipolar tree - side profile of face with green leaves one side and barren  the other

Thought to affect around 1 in every 50 adults, bipolar disorder predominantly impacts mood, causing swings from one extreme to another. Those living with the mental health condition experience episodes of depression and mania – each episode can last for weeks or longer and the highs and lows are often so extreme that they can cause significant distress and difficulty.

Siblings Jane and John Page had a shared interest in supporting research into the disorder, having both felt the impact of inherited mental health conditions during their lives. John began experiencing symptoms of manic depression (now known as bipolar disorder) when he was an adolescent and struggled with it increasingly until his death at the age of 87. A highly intelligent and thoughtful man, he wrote poetry and painted as a means of processing and expressing his feelings about the condition.

The gift from the Page family will support the work of John Geddes, WA Handley Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre. Professor Geddes’ research focuses on the development and evaluation of treatments for people with bipolar and mood disorders. He has led several large-scale trials and had a major influence on clinical practice internationally.

As well as funding research into new treatments for bipolar disorder, the gift will enable Professor Geddes and his team to develop the True Colours remote symptom monitoring system.

Read the full story on the University of Oxford Development Office website