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News and Multimedia from 2007 Featuring DNBBS

Study Aims to Develop First Medications for Fragile-X Syndrome, Leading Inherited Cause of Mental Retardation

Science Update

A new NIMH grant is enabling scientists to begin testing safety and effectiveness of potential medications for fragile-X syndrome, the most common inherited form of mental retardation. No effective medications are available for the disorder.

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Depression’s Flip Side Shares its Circuitry

Science Update

Humans tend to be overly optimistic about the future, sometimes underestimating risks and making unrealistic plans, notes NIMH grantee Elizabeth Phelps, Ph.D., New York University.

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Memory-sustaining Enzyme May Help Treat PTSD, Cognitive Decline

Science Update

Chemically blocking an enzyme in a specific area in the brain’s cortex, or outer mantle, erased a long-term memory of an aversive event that rats had learned, a study funded in part by NIMH has found.

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New Social Neuroscience Grants to Help Unravel Autism, Anxiety Disorders

Science Update

How genes and the environment shape the brain circuitry underlying social behavior is among the questions being addressed by three newly NIMH-funded studies.

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Bipolar Disorder Phenome Database May Aid Search for Related Genes

Science Update

Early findings from the recently launched Bipolar Disorder Phenome Database were published in the August 2007 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Gene Triggers Obsessive Compulsive Disorder-Like Syndrome in Mice

Press Release

Using genetic engineering, researchers have created an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) - like set of behaviors in mice and reversed them with antidepressants and genetic targeting of a key brain circuit. The study, by National Institutes of Health (NIH) -funded researchers, suggests new strategies for treating the disorder.

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New Studies Search for Clues to Mental Illness in Gatekeepers of Gene Expression

Science Update

What goes awry in the brain to cause mental illness may ultimately be traced to glitches in genes - but not necessarily the parts of genes commonly suspected.

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New Technique Pinpoints Crossroads of Depression in Rat Brain

Science Update

NIMH-funded scientists have developed a new high-speed technique for imaging brain activity and used it to pinpoint a circuit signal in rats that may be at the crossroads of depression — a possible "final common pathway" where different causes of, and treatments for, the disorder appear to converge.

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Success or Failure of Antidepressant Citalopram Predicted by Gene Variation

Press Release

A variation in a gene called GRIK4 appears to make people with depression more likely to respond to the medication citalopram (Celexa) than are people without the variation, a study by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health, has found.

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Cell Networking Keeps Brain’s Master Clock Ticking

Science Update

Each day, a master clock in the brain synchronizes the timing of lesser clocks in cells throughout the body to the rising and setting of the sun, regulating such daily rhythms as sleep, body temperature, eating, and activity. Scientists funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health have now discovered that the secret to this master clock’s robust time-keeping ability lies in the unique way its cells work together.

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Gene Knockout Unleashes Manic Mouse

Science Update

Mice engineered to lack a specific gene showed behaviors similar to human mania in a study funded in part by NIMH; they were hyperactive, slept less, appeared less depressed and anxious, and craved sugar, cocaine and pleasure stimulation.

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Scientists Switch Neurons On and Off Using Light

Science Update

Researchers have invented a genetically-engineered way to turn the electrical impulses of brain cells on and off with pulses of blue and yellow light — in synch with the split-second pace of real time neuronal activity.

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Tiny, Spontaneous Gene Mutations May Boost Autism Risk

Press Release

Tiny gene mutations, each individually rare, pose more risk for autism than had been previously thought, suggests a study funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health, a component of the National Institutes of Health.

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Weight Gain From Antipsychotics Traced to Appetite-Regulating Enzyme, Receptor

Science Update

A likely mechanism by which antipsychotic medications trigger weight gain — with its attendant risks of heart disease, diabetes and treatment non-adherence — has been unraveled in mice by NIMH-funded scientists.

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Largest-ever Search for Autism Genes Reveals New Clues

Press Release

The largest search for autism genes to date, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has implicated components of the brain’s glutamate chemical messenger system and a previously overlooked site on chromosome 11.

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New Tests May Help Researchers Detect Genetic Basis For Autism

Science Update

Researchers have developed a set of behavioral tests in mice that mimic the core features of autism and may prove useful in detecting a genetic basis for the deficits in social interactions and rigid thinking seen in the disorder.

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Clues to Making and Breaking Memories Included in List of Year’s Top Science

Science Update

NIMH-funded researchers were cited in Science Magazine’s December 2006 “Breakthrough of the Year” special issue.

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Different Families, Different Characteristics — Different Kinds of Bipolar Disorder?

Science Update

People with bipolar disorder (BPD) tend to share similarities in certain characteristics with other members of their families, NIMH-funded researchers have shown.

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