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Science News from 2003

Mental Illness Genetics Among Science’s Top “Breakthroughs“ for 2003

Press Release

Research on the genetics of mental illness, most of it NIMH-funded and much of it in the Institute’s own laboratories, was named the #2 scientific "breakthrough of the year" by Science magazine in its December l9, 2003, issue.

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Autism Summit Conference

Press Release

A national conference focusing on the Federal government's role in biomedical autism research, early screening and diagnosis, and improving access to autism services will be held November 19-20, 2003, at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

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NIMH Leaders, Grantees Honored

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National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D., was among 65 newly elected members of the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine (IOM), announced this week.

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Mutant Gene Linked to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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Analysis of DNA samples from patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and related illnesses suggests that these neuropsychiatric disorders affecting mood and behavior are associated with an uncommon mutant, malfunctioning gene that leads to faulty transporter function and regulation.

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New Program Will Pursue Schizophrenia Gene Leads

Press Release

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced a new program expanding genetics research on schizophrenia in its own Bethesda, Maryland, laboratories.

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Creation of New Neurons Critical to Antidepressant Action in Mice

Press Release

Blocking the formation of neurons in the hippocampus blocks the behavioral effects of antidepressants in mice, say researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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New Program Treats Rural Youth And Targets Barriers To Care

Press Release

Adolescents and teens with emotional and behavioral problems will receive treatment as part of a new study in eight of the poorest Appalachian counties in Eastern Tennessee.

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Gene More Than Doubles Risk Of Depression Following Life Stresses

Press Release

Among people who suffered multiple stressful life events over 5 years, 43 percent with one version of a gene developed depression, compared to only 17 percent with another version of the gene, say researchers funded, in part, by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

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NIMH Awards $22.6 Million for Center for Collaborative Research on Mental Disorders

Press Release

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has funded a five-year, $22.6 million Center for Collaborative Genetic Studies on Mental Disorders at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

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Medication and Psychotherapy Treat Depression in Low-Income Minority Women

Press Release

Treatment with medication or psychotherapy reduced depressive symptoms in women from minority populations, according to research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

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Brain Cells Seen Recycling Rapidly To Speed Communications

Press Release

The tiny spheres inside brain cells that ferry chemical messengers into the synapse make their rounds much more expeditiously than once assumed, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded researchers have discovered.

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Monkey's Memory Cells Caught in the Act of Learning

Press Release

NIH-funded scientists have detected direct evidence of individual brain cells signaling the formation of new memories.

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Lithium Shows Promise Against Alzheimer’s in Mouse Model

Press Release

An enzyme crucial to formation of Alzheimer’s plaques and tangles may hold promise as a target for future medications, suggest studies in mice and cells.

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NIH Awards Grants for Six New Autism Research Centers

Press Release

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded grants to support six new research centers of a major network focusing on the biomedical and behavioral aspects of autism.

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Gene Enhances Prefrontal Function at a Price

Press Release

Studies of a gene that affects how efficiently the brain’s frontal lobes process information are revealing some untidy consequences of a tiny variation in its molecular structure and how it may increase susceptibility to schizophrenia.

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Study Boosts Confidence in Potential Screening Tool for Alzheimer's Disease

Press Release

A major study has confirmed the value of potential markers for identifying people with Alzheimer's disease.

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Genes, Brain and Behavior Symposium April 16

Press Release

Prominent experts on genes, brain and behavior will discuss the impact of genomics on neuroscience in an all-day scientific symposium at the National Institutes of Health, April 16.

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NIMH Launches First Public Health Education Campaign To Reach Men With Depression

Press Release

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), one of the National Institutes of Health, today announced the launch of the first national campaign to raise awareness that depression is a major public health problem affecting an estimated 6 million men annually.

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Treatment for Minor Depression

Press Release

In a new approach to research on minor depression, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched a four-year study to determine the safety and effectiveness of St. Johns wort, a common herbal supplement, and citalopram, a standard antidepressant, compared to placebo.

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Telltale Protein Defects Mark Fragile X Pathways

Press Release

A team of scientists led by National Institute of Mental Health Health (NIMH) grantees has identified a trove of proteins involved in synaptic plasticity and neuronal growth—some of them likely implicated in mental retardation and perhaps other neurodevelopmental disorders like autism.

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Human Gene Affects Memory

Press Release

NIH scientists have shown that a common gene variant influences memory for events in humans by altering a growth factor in the brain<s memory hub.

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