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News and Multimedia from 2008 Featuring DNBBS

Three NIMH Grantees Receive White House Award

Science Update

Three NIMH grantees were among the 67 recipients of Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE) for 2007:

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Study Probes Environment-Triggered Genetic Changes in Schizophrenia

Science Update

The first study of its kind to pinpoint environment-triggered genetic changes in schizophrenia has been launched with $9.8 million in funding from NIMH. The five-site study seeks telltale marks in the genome that hold clues to how nurture interacts with nature to produce the illness.

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Caffeine No Substitute for a Nap to Enhance Memory

Science Update

Hoping to improve your tennis serve? It's probably better to catch a few winks than load up on java after a lesson, results of a NIMH-supported study suggest.

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Learning Disability Reversed in Mice

Science Update

Just as traffic signals enable safe traversing of the roadways, so too does the brain's machinery for learning and memory rely on its own stop-and-go signals.

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Genomic Dragnet Finds Clues to Likely Suspects in Alzheimer’s

Science Update

In the first study of its kind, researchers have pinpointed four genes likely associated with risk for the most common, late-onset form of Alzheimer’s disease, including a very strong candidate on chromosome 14.

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Cells May Provide Target for New Anxiety Medications

Science Update

A specific population of brain cells could provide a target for developing new medications aimed at helping people learn to mute the fears underlying anxiety disorders, according to NIMH-supported scientists.

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Genes That Turn On Together Hold Secrets of Brain’s Molecular Instructions

Science Update

For the first time, scientists have mapped groups of genes that turn on together in the human brain, revealing a kind of Rosetta Stone of its molecular organization.

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NIH Funds Nine Centers to Speed Application of Powerful New Research Approach

Press Release

The funding of a network of nine centers across the country that will use high tech screening methods to identify small molecules for use as probes to investigate the diverse functions of cells was announced today by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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Serotonin Neurons Critical for Mouse Postpartum Maternal Behavior, Pup Survival

Science Update

Mood disorders, including postpartum depression, have long been treated with antidepressants that enhance the mood-regulating brain chemical messenger serotonin.

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Largest Study of Its Kind Implicates Gene Abnormalities in Bipolar Disorder

Press Release

The largest genetic analysis of its kind to date for bipolar disorder has implicated machinery involved in the balance of sodium and calcium in brain cells.

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A Night’s Sleep Gives Emotional Memories Their Staying Power

Science Update

For the first time, researchers have found that following a nights sleep, emotional components of scenes are remembered at the expense of neutral components.

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Borderline Personality Disorder: Brain Differences Related to Disruptions in Cooperation in Relationships

Science Update

Different patterns of brain activity in people with borderline personality disorder were associated with disruptions in the ability to recognize social norms or modify behaviors that likely result in distrust and broken relationships, according to an NIMH-funded study published online in the August 8, 2008 issue of Science.

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“Signatures” of Errant Gene Expression in Autism Eyed for Diagnostic Test

Science Update

Researchers have launched an effort to detect profiles of gene expression associated with autism that could some day form the basis of a diagnostic test for the disorder.

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Mechanism for Postpartum Depression Found in Mice

Press Release

Researchers have pinpointed a mechanism in the brains of mice that could explain why some human mothers become depressed following childbirth.

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Increased Burden of Rare Genetic Variations Found in Schizophrenia

Press Release

People with schizophrenia bear an "increased burden" of rare deletions and duplications of genetic material, genome-wide, say researchers supported in part by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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Common Mechanisms May Underlie Autism’s Seemingly Diverse Mutations

Press Release

Many of the seemingly disparate mutations recently discovered in autism may share common underlying mechanisms, say researchers supported in part by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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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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New Grant Supports Stem Cell-Derived Model of Autism-Related Illness

Science Update

For the first time, researchers are developing a test tube model of Rett syndrome, a debilitating autism-like illness, in neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells.

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Mice Expressing Human Genes Bred to Help Unravel Mental Disorders

Science Update

New mouse strains engineered to express human genes related to mental disorders are being developed under a recently-launched grant program from NIMH’s Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science.

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Spontaneous Mutations Rife in Non-Familial Schizophrenia

Press Release

People with schizophrenia from families with no history of the illness were found to harbor eight times more spontaneous mutations – most in pathways affecting brain development – than healthy controls, in a study supported in part the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). By contrast, no spontaneous mutations were found in people with schizophrenia who had family histories of the illness.

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Rates of Rare Mutations Soar Three to Four Times Higher in Schizophrenia

Press Release

People with schizophrenia have high rates of rare genetic deletions and duplications that likely disrupt the developing brain, according to studies funded in part by the National Institutes of Health.

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Autism Gene Scans Converge on Two Suspect Sites, Two Types of Genetic Risk

Science Update

Four teams of scientists, using resources supported in part by NIMH, have pinpointed two different sites in the genome, each conferring a different type of genetic risk for autism. At one site, risk genes appear to be inherited. At the other, risk stems from spontaneous mutations, not seen in the genetics of the parents. In both examples, evidence suggests the suspect genes are critical for development of brain circuits impaired in autism.

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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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Genetic Tags Reveal Secrets of Memories’ Staying Power in Mice

Press Release

A better understanding of how memory works is emerging from a newfound ability to link a learning experience in a mouse to consequent changes in the inner workings of its neurons. Researchers, supported in part by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), have developed a way to pinpoint the specific cellular components that sustain a specific memory in genetically-engineered mice.

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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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Autism Risk Higher in People with Gene Variant

Press Release

Scientists have found a variation in a gene that may raise the risk of developing autism, especially when the variant is inherited from mothers rather than fathers. The research was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health.

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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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