Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Marlene Murray-Nseula

Second Advisor

Desmond Murray


Bipolar disorder is a debilitating mental illness characterized by recurrent episodes of mania and depression. FDA-approved drugs lithium and valproate, are the most common treatments for this disorder. Currently, omega-3 fatty acids are being researched as an alternative treatment, free of the negative side effects valproate and lithium exhibit. The mechanisms by which valproate and lithium work are unclear, however they effectively lower intracellular inositol levels. Valproate and omega-3 fatty acids similarly inhibit yeast cell growth as well as protein kinase C activity. We hypothesize that omega-3 fatty acids can also decrease inositol levels. A prodrug combining structural properties of valproate and omega-3 fatty acids was synthesized and tested on the growth of Saccharomyces cerevisae yeast cells. Results suggest the mechanisms by which valproate and omega-3 fatty acids lower inositol levels are similar.

Subject Area

Valproic acid, Omega-3 fatty acids, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Inositol., Manic-depressive illness--Treatment.