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News and Multimedia Featuring DNBBS

Schizophrenia’s Genetic “Skyline” Rising

Press Release

Schizophrenia genetics Manhattan plots, 2011, 2014

The largest genomic dragnet of any psychiatric disorder to date has unmasked 108 chromosomal sites harboring inherited variations in the genetic code linked to schizophrenia, 83 of which had not been previously reported.

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Common Gene Variants Account for Most Genetic Risk for Autism

Press Release

Buxbaum Autism Architecture Chart

Most of the genetic risk for autism comes from versions of genes that are common in the population rather than from rare variants or spontaneous glitches.

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Shining a Light on Memory

Press Release

Malinow Engineering Memory Rat

Using a flash of light, scientists have inactivated and then reactivated a memory in genetically engineered rats. The findings – the first cause-and-effect evidence that strengthened connections between neurons are the stuff of memory – add to mounting evidence that the brain represents a memory by forming assemblies of neurons with strengthened connections.

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Jump-starting Natural Resilience Reverses Stress Susceptibility

Press Release

Antidepressant effects

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors to out-of-balance neuronal electrical activity and made mice resilient by reversing it.

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NIH-funded Brain Atlas Offers Clues to Psychiatric Disorders

Press Release

BrainSpan Atlas of the Developing Human Brain

A brain blueprint maps where genes are tuned on and off during mid-pregnancy—when most brain disorders such as autism and schizophrenia occur.

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Brain Region Singled Out for Social Memory, Possible Therapeutic Target for Select Brain Disorders

Science Update

highlighted CA2 region of hippocampus in mouse brain

The hippocampus houses learning and memory—specifically the storage of knowledge of who, what, where, and when. Using a special transgenic mouse, researchers have now pinpointed a hippocampal region called CA2 that is important for social memory, the ability of animal to recognize another of the same species. Understanding this region could be useful in understanding and treating disorders characterized by altered social behaviors such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism.

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Streamlined Method Offers Shortcut to Generating Neurons for Discovery

Science Update

Human induced neuron transplanted into mouse brain

Researchers have found a shortcut to rapidly convert induced human stem cells into healthy neurons for “disease-in-a-dish” discovery – and, ultimately, personalized medicine.

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Stray Prenatal Gene Network Suspected in Schizophrenia

Press Release

Schizophrenia networks in prefrontal cortex

Researchers have reverse-engineered the outlines of a disrupted prenatal gene network in schizophrenia, by tracing spontaneous mutations to where and when they likely cause damage in the brain.

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Bullying Exerts Psychiatric Effects Into Adulthood

Science Update

Bullying Exerts Psychiatric Effects Into Adulthood

Once considered a childhood rite of passage, bullying lingers well into adulthood. Bullies and victims alike are at risk for psychiatric problems such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicide when they become adults, reported a study partially funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) that was published in the April issue of JAMA Psychiatry.

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Ketamine Cousin Rapidly Lifts Depression Without Side Effects

Science Update

GLX-13 Thumbnail

NMDA or glutamate receptor modulators as antidepressants have come of age. Human clinical studies demonstrated that ketamine can ward off depressive symptoms within 2 hours of administration and last for several days. Yet serious side effects are attached to this drug, including excessive sleepiness, hallucinations, and substance abuse behavior.

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