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News and Multimedia from 2007 Featuring DNBBS

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

Science Update

National Institute of Mental Health

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

National Institute of Mental Health

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

National Institute of Mental Health

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

National Institute of Mental Health

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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Gene Triggers Obsessive Compulsive Disorder-Like Syndrome in Mice

Press Release

National Institute of Mental Health

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

National Institute of Mental Health

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

National Institute of Mental Health

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

National Institute of Mental Health

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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Scientists Switch Neurons On and Off Using Light

Science Update

National Institute of Mental Health

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

National Institute of Mental Health

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

National Institute of Mental Health

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

National Institute of Mental Health

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

National Institute of Mental Health

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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