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News and Multimedia from 2008 Featuring DATR

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Consortium Moves Quickly to Study Resilience Following Hurricane Ike

Science Update

A consortium of research programs funded by NIMH to conduct post-disaster mental health research mobilized this year following hurricane Ike to study the factors that influence resilience after disasters.

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Task Force Finds Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Effective for Children and Adolescents Exposed to Trauma

Science Update

Individual and group cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) were the only interventions found effective in an evaluation of seven commonly-used approaches to reduce the psychological harm to youth who experience trauma.

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Pilot Study Will Test New Treatment to Reduce Self-Harm in Borderline Personality Disorder

Science Update

NIMH recently funded Kim Gratz, Ph.D., University of Mississippi Medical Center, and colleagues to continue to test a new group therapy to help women with borderline personality disorder reduce self-harm behaviors and to improve functioning.

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Emotion-Regulating Circuit Weakened in Borderline Personality Disorder

Science Update

Differences in the working tissue of the brain, called grey matter, have been linked to impaired functioning of an emotion-regulating circuit in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD).

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Personality Disorders Prevalent, Under-Treated, in South Africa

Science Update

Almost seven percent of South African people age 20 or older have a personality disorder, an umbrella term for several personality types characterized by chronic social dysfunction, a large study funded by NIMH and others reveals.

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Abnormal Surge in Brain Development Occurs in Teens and Young Adults with Schizophrenia

Science Update

Schizophrenia may occur, in part, because brain development goes awry during adolescence and young adulthood, when the brain is eliminating some connections between cells as a normal part of maturation, results of a study suggest. The new report appears online July 8, 2008 in Molecular Psychiatry.

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NIMH Schizophrenia Initiative Featured in Biological Psychiatry

Science Update

An NIMH initiative to fill the gap between advances in basic cognitive neuroscience and practical clinical applications for patients with schizophrenia is the topic of the July 1, 2008 issue of Biological Psychiatry.

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Preventive Treatment May Help Head Off Depression Following a Stroke

Science Update

For the first time, researchers show that preventive treatment with an antidepressant medication or talk therapy can significantly reduce the risk or delay the start of depression following an acute stroke, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health. These findings differ from past studies attempting to prevent poststroke depression. The study appears in the May 28, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Past Child Abuse Plus Variations in Gene Result in Potent PTSD Risk for Adults

Science Update

A traumatic event is much more likely to result in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults who experienced trauma in childhood – but certain gene variations raise the risk considerably if the childhood trauma involved physical or sexual abuse, scientists have found. The research was conducted with funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, and others.

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Group Therapy Program Offers Meaningful Gains for People with Borderline Personality Disorder

Science Update

A 20-week group therapy program focusing on cognitive behavioral and skills training, when used in conjunction with usual care, helped reduce symptoms of borderline personality disorder and improve overall functioning, reported NIMH-funded researchers.

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Tomorrow’s Antidepressants: Skip the Serotonin Boost?

Science Update

New research adds to evidence of potentially better molecular targets in the brain to treat depression and other mental disorders, according to NIMH-funded scientists.

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Gene Variants Protect Against Adult Depression Triggered by Childhood Stress

Press Release

Certain variations in a gene that helps regulate response to stress tend to protect adults who were abused in childhood from developing depression, according to new research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health. Adults who had been abused but didn’t have the variations in the gene had twice the symptoms of moderate to severe depression, compared to those with the protective variations.

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Research-based Principles May Help Improve Mental Health Recovery Following Mass Trauma

Science Update

Experts on trauma-related research and medical practices from around the world recently identified five principles to guide mental health care efforts immediately or shortly after a mass trauma, such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack. In a related commentary, NIMH scientist Farris Tuma, Sc.D., MHS, discusses how these principles may help determine effective mental health care for large numbers of people following an emergency, and how best to deliver it. The article and commentary were published in the Winter 2007 issue of Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes.

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Scientists Can Predict Psychotic Illness in up to 80 Percent of High-Risk Youth

Press Release

Youth who are going to develop psychosis can be identified before their illness becomes full-blown 35 percent of the time if they meet widely accepted criteria for risk, but that figure rises to 65 to 80 percent if they have certain combinations of risk factors, the largest study of its kind has shown. Knowing what these combinations are can help scientists predict who is likely to develop the illnesses within two to three years with the same accuracy that other kinds of risk factors can predict major medical diseases, such as diabetes.

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Real-World Outcomes in Schizophrenia Are Focus of Two New NIMH Grants

Science Update

Two new NIMH grants are aimed at determining the most accurate methods of measuring how well community-dwelling people with schizophrenia are faring. Results of the project are meant to provide scientists who conduct future research on the effectiveness of treatments with tools that will reflect the truest possible picture of daily-life outcomes.

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Foreign Nativity May Not Always Protect Against Mental Disorders in the US

Science Update

Though all Latino immigrants tend to display better overall mental health compared to their US-born counterparts, a recent study by NIMH-funded researchers has found that the protective benefits of foreign nativity vary widely across subgroups of this population. Factors such as neighborhood stability, perceived discrimination, and the strength of family bonds all combine to influence the prevalence of mental disorders across distinctive Latino ethnic groups. The finding reflects varying immigration and acculturation processes experienced by Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans and other Latino groups. Results of the study were published in the July 2007 issue of Social Science and Medicine.

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Ethnicity Predicts How Gene Variations Affect Response to Schizophrenia Medications

Science Update

Different variations in the same gene influence how well different ethnic groups, and people within the same ethnic group, respond to various antipsychotic medications, report NIMH-funded researchers. If confirmed, their findings could one day help clinicians predict which medication is most likely to help a patient, based on his or her genetic makeup.

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