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Science News from 2004

Nobel Laureate Axelrod, Neuroscience Pioneer

Press Release

Nobel Laureate Julius Axelrod, Ph.D., an NIMH researcher since 1955, died in his sleep early Wednesday morning, December 29, 2004.

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International Coalition to Fund Autism Genetics Research

Press Release

An international public/private partnership of government health agencies and private advocacy organizations has committed more than $21 million for research to identify the genes associated with autism spectrum disorders, a range of developmental disorders that impair communication and other mental abilities.

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Mutant Gene Linked to Treatment-Resistant Depression

Science Update

A mutant gene that starves the brain of serotonin, a mood-regulating chemical messenger, has been discovered and found to be 10 times more prevalent in depressed patients than in control subjects, report researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

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Stress Impairs Thinking Via Mania-Linked Enzyme

Press Release

An errant enzyme linked to bipolar disorder, in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, impairs cognition under stress, an animal study shows.

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Psychotherapy, Medications Best for Youth With Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Press Release

Children and adolescents with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) respond best to a combination of both psychotherapy and an antidepressant, a major clinical trial has found.

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Perceptual Decision-Making Hub Pinpointed in Human Brain

Press Release

A perceptual decision-making hub at the front of the brain makes the call on whether you’re looking at a face or a house — and likely many other things — scientists at the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have discovered.

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NIMH Grant to Explore Genetics of Autism

Press Release

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced this week a 3-year, $3 million grant to Johns Hopkins University to study the genetic factors underlying autism.

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New Learning Techniques Improves Global HIV/AIDS Prevention

Press Release

Researchers funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health, have found that advanced communication technologies — including multimedia CDs — can improve world-wide dissemination of new HIV/AIDS prevention models to providers of health services.

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Rare Deficit Maps Thinking Circuitry

Press Release

Using brain imaging, neuroscientists at the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have pinpointed the site of a defect in a brain circuit associated with a specific thinking deficit.

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Combination Treatment Most Effective in Adolescents with Depression

Press Release

A clinical trial of 439 adolescents with major depression has found a combination of medication and psychotherapy to be the most effective treatment.

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Schizophrenia Gene Variant Linked to Risk Traits

Press Release

Researchers at the NIH's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have identified a relationship between a small section of one gene, the brain chemical messenger glutamate, and a collection of traits known to be associated with schizophrenia.

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Brain’s Reward Circuitry Revealed in Procrastinating Primates

Press Release

Using a new molecular genetic technique, scientists have turned procrastinating primates into workaholics by temporarily suppressing a gene in a brain circuit involved in reward learning.

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Depression Traced to Overactive Brain Circuit

Press Release

Press Release August 2, 2004 Depression Traced to Overactive Brain Circuit A brain imaging study by the NIH's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has found that an emotion-regulating brain circuit is overactive in people prone to depression — even when they are not depressed.

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Imaging Study Shows Brain Maturing

Press Release

The brains center of reasoning and problem solving is among the last to mature, a new study graphically reveals.

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Research to Test Treatment of Cognitive Dysfunction in Schizophrenia

Press Release

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded a four-year, $9 million contract to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and five other academic medical centers to create a network of Treatment Units for Research on Neurocognition and Schizophrenia (TURNS).

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Brain Signal Predicts Working Memory Prowess

Press Release

Some people are better than others at remembering what they have just seen—holding mental pictures in mind from moment to moment.

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Making Sense of the Brain’s Mind-Boggling Complexity

Press Release

Leading scientists in integrating and visualizing the explosion of information about the brain will convene at a conference commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Human Brain Project (HBP).

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“Care Managers” Help Depressed Elderly Reduce Suicidal Thoughts

Press Release

An intervention that includes staffing doctors’ offices with depression care managers helps depressed elderly patients reduce suicidal thoughts, a study funded by NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has found.

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Monkey Talk, Human Speech Share Left-Brain Processing

Press Release

Scans have pinpointed circuits in the monkey brain that could be precursors of those in humans for speech and language.

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Emotion-Regulating Protein Lacking in Panic Disorder

Press Release

Three brain areas of panic disorder patients are lacking in a key component of a chemical messenger system that regulates emotion, researchers at the NIH National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have discovered.

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