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Director’s Blog

National DNA Day

In a blog celebrating National DNA Day, NIMH Director Thomas Insel shares new insights about DNA, and emphasizes that, for mental disorders, DNA is less about simple heritability and more about complex mechanisms of risk.

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A Misfortune Not a Crime

Dr. Insel discusses a new report that compares the number of people with serious mental illness who are incarcerated vs. the number being treated in hospitals.

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BrainSpan – Mapping the Developing Brain

A new map of where and when genes are expressed in the developing human brain—the transcriptome—is already enabling scientists to gain insights into the role of risk genes in neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Insel talks about the implications of this work.

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Autism Awareness: April 2014

Dr. Insel describes new scientific findings on autism, including new CDC prevalence data, being reported just as Autism Awareness Month begins.

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Celebrating Science

At a recent awards dinner, Research!America honored patients who worked with researchers to find cures for disease; Dr. Insel shows what we can learn from these collaborations and gives an example of how genetic research can lead to effective treatment.

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Brain Awareness

In a blog about Brain Awareness Month, NIMH Director Thomas Insel talks about the complexity of the brain and challenges ahead for research to understand it.

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Clues to Risk and Resilience: Army STARRS

Dr. Insel talks about just published findings coming out of Army STARRS, a joint Army-NIMH effort to understand risk factors for suicide in the military.

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A New Approach to Clinical Trials

NIMH is changing how it will support clinical trials. Dr. Insel summarizes the changes and the reasons behind them.

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BITs and BYTEs

Dr. Insel talks about the numerous ways in which devices like computers and smartphones could be used to diagnose and treat mental disorders.

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A Growth Chart for the Mind

Dr. Insel talks about a just-published paper that offers the first picture of a growth chart for cognitive development. As long-term studies add information on different facets of cognitive function, such a map has the potential to be just as vital a tool for evaluating growing children as charts for height, weight, and head circumference.

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