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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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Statement Regarding Malaysia Airlines Flight

Science Update

National Institute of Mental Health

Statement Regarding Malaysia Airlines Flight

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How Might New Neurons Buffer Against Stress?

Science Update

new neurons born in adult dentate gyrus

Over the past decade or so, evidence has emerged suggesting that the birth of new neurons in the adult brain’s memory hub, or hippocampus, may play a key role the action of antidepressants, resilience to stress, the benefits of exercise and enriched environments, and preventing memory loss. But understanding how it might work has remained elusive. NIMH researchers in NIH’s new Porter Neuroscience Research Center are following up leads.

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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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For Schizophrenia, Newer Injectables Not Necessarily Better

Science Update

concerned female woman patient giving info to doctor

Treatment adherence is a problem among people with schizophrenia, who may not take medications because they don’t perceive its need or benefit, don’t like the side effects, or forget. To combat this issue, long-acting injectable medications are administered every 2-4 weeks. But are the new forms of these drugs better than the old ones?

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Genes Impact Suspect Cortex Areas More as Youth Mature

Science Update

Cortex heritability and variability

Later evolving and maturing brain areas, which also are those most implicated in mental illness, showed gradually increasing heritability, peaking by late adolescence – the age-of-onset for most mental disorders. New findings hold promise for understanding how age plays an important role in gene-environment interactions that underlie the disorders.

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NIMH Director Honored by BBRF

Science Update

NIMH Director Thomas Insel, M.D.

NIMH Director Honored by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

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Channel Makeover Bioengineered to Switch Off Neurons

Press Release

excitatory cellular channel

Scientists have bioengineered an enhancement to a cutting edge technology that provides instant control over brain circuit activity with a flash of light. The research adds the same level of control over switching neurons off that, until now, had been limited to switching them on. What had been working through a weak pump now works through a highly responsive channel -- like going from a squirt to a gushing hose.

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NIMH’s Dr. Robert Heinssen Receives Special Presidential Commendation from APA

Science Update

NIMH’s Dr. Robert Heinssen Receives Special Presidential Commendation from APA

NIMH’s Dr. Robert Heinssen Receives Special Presidential Commendation from APA

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