By Edward Nawotka
As well as running Stay Thirsty Press, publisher Dusty Sang has poured his energy into raising money to help find an empirical test for bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a particularly tricky illness to diagnose, as it manifests itself in so many different ways. “So far, no such test exists,” says Sang, whose only son died from the disease at age 24 (see today’s lead article). “We want a test so early detection and intervention might become a possibility.”
Shortly after his son’s death, Sang and his wife Joyce launched a foundation to help fund research for a test. The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation maintains a comprehensive Web site at www.questforthetest.org. It is run by Joyce along with a board of directors who have managed to enlist the support of a who’s-who of authorities on the biopolar disorer, including Nobel Laureate Dr. James D. Watson of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York.
Sang says he’s increasingly optimistic that he will reach his goal, particularly as advances in computer bioinformatics have progressed, allowing scientists and researchers to access each other’s work, and through simple keyword searches, discover connections between seemingly unrelated fields.
As the fifth anniversary of his son’s death approaches on August 26, Sang says the Foundation has already made a number of “significant donations” to help research at institutions such as Harvard University and the University of Chicago, and is making a difference. “Every day we’re getting closer to our goal,” he says.
LEARN: More about bipolar disorder and the Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation.