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- Twitter Chat on The Teen Brain—NIMH Experts Discuss Brain Awareness Week
- Science Update March 12, 2013
Miss the Twitter chat on the teen brain and Brain Awareness Week? Read the transcript.
- Differences in On/Off Switches Help Explain How the Human Brain Evolved
- Science Update February 19, 2013
A recent NIMH-funded study identified small regions of the genome that are uniquely regulated in human neurons, but not in primate neurons. The findings provide insight into human intellectual function and risk for human diseases, including autism and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Leading Neurobiologist Appointed NIMH Scientific Director
- Press Release January 24, 2013
Renowned neurobiologist Susan Amara recently joined NIMH as scientific director of its intramural research program.
- Switching Off a Specific Brain Region Can Alter Ingrained Habits in Rats
- Science Update November 27, 2012
Old habits may die hard, but we might be able to turn them off by targeting a specific brain region. Such a discovery could help us find better ways of controlling addiction or certain mental disorders like obsessive compulsive disorder.
- In-sync Brain Waves Hold Memory of Objects Just Seen
- Press Release November 01, 2012
The brain holds in mind what has just been seen by synchronizing brain waves in a working memory circuit, an animal study suggests. The more in-sync such electrical signals of neurons were in two key hubs of the circuit, the more those cells held the short-term memory of a just-seen object. The new findings may upturn prevailing theories about how working memory works.
- NIH Common Fund Announces Awards for Single Cell Analysis
- Press Release October 15, 2012
NIH plans to invest more than $90 million over five years to accelerate the development and application of single cell analysis across a variety of fields. The goal is to understand what makes individual cells unique and to pave the way for medical treatments.
- Former NIMH Grantee Wins Nobel Prize for Chemistry
- Science Update October 10, 2012
Former NIMH grantee Brian K. Kobilka, MD, of Stanford University has won this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He shares the award with Robert J. Lefkowitz of Duke University for explaining the communication system that the human body uses to send messages to cells.
- Awake Mental Replay of Past Experiences Critical for Learning
- Press Release May 03, 2012
Awake mental replay of past experiences is essential for making informed choices, suggests a study in rats. Without it, the animals’ memory-based decision-making faltered, say scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health.
- Linked Brain Centers Mature in Sync
- Science Update March 13, 2012
Brain imaging is providing a new picture of how functionally connected parts of the brain develop in sync.
- Turning on Dormant Gene May Hold Key for Correcting a Neurodevelopmental Defect
- Science Update January 05, 2012
Scientists working in cell culture and in mice have been able to correct the loss of gene activity underlying a rare but severe developmental disorder by turning on a gene that is normally silenced in brain cells.
- Biology, Not Just Society, May Increase Risk of Binge Eating During Puberty
- Science Update August 22, 2011
Biological changes associated with puberty may influence the development of binge eating and related eating disorders, according to a recent study on female rats conducted by NIMH-funded researchers.
- New Neurons in Adult Brain Buffer Stress
- Science Update August 16, 2011
New neurons growing in the adult brain help buffer the effects of stress, according to a new study in mice.
- HIV-Infected Astrocytes Disrupt Blood-Brain Barrier, Contribute to Cognitive Impairment
- Science Update August 16, 2011
Astrocytes, a type of support cell in the brain, that are infected with HIV show abnormal connections and functioning that disrupt the blood-brain barrier, according to an NIMH-funded study.
- Stress-Defeating Effects of Exercise Traced to Emotional Brain Circuit
- Science Update June 09, 2011
Evidence in both humans and animals points to emotional benefits from exercise, both physical and mental. Now, in recent experiments with mice, scientists have traced the stress-buffering effect of activity to a brain circuit known to be involved in emotional regulation as well as mood disorders and medication effects. The finding is a clue to understanding the neurological roots of resilience, key to developing new means of prevention and treatment for stress-related illness.
- Tired Neurons Caught Nodding Off in Sleep-deprived Rats
- Press Release April 27, 2011
A new study in rats is shedding light on how sleep-deprived lifestyles might impair functioning without people realizing it. The more rats are sleep-deprived, the more some of their neurons take catnaps – with consequent declines in task performance. Even though the animals are awake and active, brainwave measures reveal that scattered groups of neurons in the thinking part of their brain, or cortex, are briefly falling asleep, scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health have discovered.
- Study Reveals New Clues to How Depression May Develop
- Science Update April 20, 2011
Activating neurons in a brain structure linked to disappointment increased depression-like behaviors in rats, while suppressing the neurons’ activity reduced the behaviors, according to an NIMH-funded study. The findings help to explain previous research linking this brain structure to depression in humans and highlight a cellular process that hadn’t been previously explored in mood disorders research. The study was published in the February 24, 2011, issue of Nature.
- Enzyme Enhances, Erases Long-term Memories in Rats
- Press Release March 03, 2011
Even long after it is formed, a memory in rats can be enhanced or erased by increasing or decreasing the activity of a brain enzyme, say researchers supported, in part, by the National Institutes of Health.
- Same Behavior, Different Brain in Adolescent and Adult Rats
- Science Update January 28, 2011
A study that measured the activity of single cells in the brains of rats found striking differences between adolescents and adults even when both behaved identically on a task motivated by a reward. The finding offers clues to the neurological underpinnings of adolescent behavior and this age group’s vulnerability to mental illness.
- Little-known Growth Factor Enhances Memory, Prevents Forgetting in Rats
- Press Release January 26, 2011
A naturally occurring growth factor significantly boosted retention and prevented forgetting of a fear memory when injected into rats' memory circuitry during time-limited windows when memories become fragile and changeable. In the study funded by the National Institutes of Health, animals treated with insulin-like growth factor (IGF-II) excelled at remembering to avoid a location where they had previously experienced a mild shock.
- Transgenic Mouse Offers a Window on Gene/Environment Interplay: Prenatal Infection Alters Behavior in Genetically Vulnerable
- Science Update December 15, 2010
Experiments in transgenic mice have provided a novel glimpse of how a prenatal infection could interact with a specific gene variant to cause behavioral and neurologic changes in adults that mirror those seen in major psychiatric disease.
- NIMH’s Dr. Mortimer Mishkin to be Awarded National Medal of Science
- Press Release November 12, 2010
National Institutes of Health intramural researcher Mortimer Mishkin, Ph.D., will be awarded the National Medal of Science at a White House ceremony later this month. Mishkin is chief of the National Institute of Mental Health’s (NIMH) Section on Cognitive Neuroscience, and acting chief of its Laboratory of Neuropsychology. He is the first NIMH intramural scientist to receive the medal, which the President presents each year for outstanding contributions to science. Mishkin is among 10 recipients this year.
- NIH launches Genotype-Tissue Expression Project
- Press Release October 08, 2010
The National Institutes of Health today announced awards to support an initiative to understand how genetic variation may control gene activity and its relationship to disease. Launched as a pilot phase, the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project will create a resource researchers can use to study inherited susceptibility to illness and will establish a tissue bank for future biological studies.
- Drug Substitutes for Training in Rats, Inducing a Memory of Safety
- Press Release June 04, 2010
Researchers have found a way to pharmacologically induce a memory of safety in the brain of rats, mimicking the effect of training. The finding suggests possibilities for new treatments for individuals suffering from anxiety disorders.
- Novel Model of Depression from Social Defeat Shows Restorative Power of Exercise
- Science Update April 13, 2010
In a study in a mouse model that mimics the contribution of social stress to human depression, an environment that promotes exercise and exploration alleviated depressive behavior in the mice. The beneficial effect of activity depended on the growth of new neurons in the adult brain.
- Gene’s Impact on Forgetting a Fear-Based Memory Same in Humans and Mice
- Science Update March 05, 2010
Both humans and mice carrying a variant of a gene that plays a role in memory were slow to learn to forget a fear-based memory. The parallels in gene effects observed in mice and humans in this work means that investigation using the mouse model can provide insights into effects in humans; results may inform treatment approaches to anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
- From Neurons to Thought: Coherent Electrical Patterns Observed Across the Brain
- Science Update January 25, 2010
Amidst the background hum of electrical signaling generated by neurons in the brain, scientists have found that local groups of neurons, firing in coordination, sometimes create a signal that is mirrored instantaneously and precisely by other groups of neurons across the brain. These transient episodes of coherence across different parts of the brain may be an electrical signature of thought and actions.
- Behavioral Training Improves Connectivity and Function in the Brain
- Press Release December 09, 2009
Children with poor reading skills who underwent an intensive, six-month training program to improve their reading ability showed increased connectivity in a particular brain region, in addition to making significant gains in reading, according to a study funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The study was published in the Dec. 10, 2009, issue of Neuron.
- Symptoms in Mice Lacking a Single Receptor Type Mimic the Development of Schizophrenia
- Science Update December 03, 2009
Deleting one type of neurotransmitter receptor in a specific population of brain cells can induce schizophrenia-like behavior in mice, but only when the receptor is deleted early in development, according to a study by NIMH intramural scientists. The work provides strong support for previous observations implicating these receptors in psychosis; further, the mice provide a model of how psychotic symptoms can arise from a disruption in neuronal development, consistent with observations of how schizophrenia emerges in humans.
- NIH Funds Four Centers of Excellence in Genomic Science
- Press Release September 28, 2009
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), both part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced grants expected to total approximately $45 million to establish new Centers of Excellence in Genomic Science at the Medical College of Wisconsin and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill as well as to continue support of existing centers at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Southern California.
- NIH Launches the Human Connectome Project to Unravel the Brain’s Connections
- Press Release July 16, 2009
The National Institutes of Health Blueprint for Neuroscience Research is launching a $30 million project that will use cutting-edge brain imaging technologies to map the circuitry of the healthy adult human brain. By systematically collecting brain imaging data from hundreds of subjects, the Human Connectome Project (HCP) will yield insight into how brain connections underlie brain function, and will open up new lines of inquiry for human neuroscience.
- Much Touted “Depression Risk Gene” May Not Add to Risk After All
- Press Release June 16, 2009
Stressful life events are strongly associated with a person’s risk for major depression, but a certain gene variation long thought to increase risk in conjunction with stressful life events actually may have no effect, according to researchers funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health. The study, published in the June 17, 2009, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, challenges a widely accepted approach to studying risk factors for depression.
- Key Molecule in Inflammation-Related Depression Confirmed
- Science Update March 20, 2009
Scientists have confirmed the role of an immune-activated enzyme in causing inflammation-related depression-like symptoms in mice.
- New Silvio O. Conte Centers Address Brain Development, Disorders
- Science Update March 18, 2009
With a mandate to use innovative, multidisciplinary research approaches to address important mental health questions, four newly funded centers have begun investigations of schizophrenia, brain development, and adolescent mood disorders.
- Brain Awareness Week Teaches Kids How Their Brains Work
- Press Release March 17, 2009
The 10th annual Brain Awareness Week (BAW), a science and health education fair held in various locations across the United States, teaches fifth through eighth grade students about the brain. In Washington, D.C., it will take place March 16-20, 2009, at the National Museum of Health and Medicine at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Several institutes from the National Institutes of Health will provide interactive exhibits and lectures focusing on brain health and neuroscience on March 18th and 19th.
- Brain Scanning Gives Clues to How Genes Shape Behavior, Disease Risk
- Science Update February 27, 2009
In an experiment in which people viewed changing images of slot machines, inherited differences in brain chemistry predicted the magnitude of responses in the brain to the prospect and receipt of reward.
- Research Shows How Chronic Stress May be Linked to Physical and Mental Ailments
- Science Update February 03, 2009
While scientists have long known that the levels of certain hormones rise in response to chronic stress, an NIMH study is the first to describe a potential fundamental mechanism for this process.
- Caffeine No Substitute for a Nap to Enhance Memory
- Science Update December 08, 2008
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.
- Anxious and Depressed Teens and Adults: Same Version of Mood Gene, Different Brain Reactions
- Science Update December 02, 2008
An NIMH study using brain imaging shows that some anxious and depressed adolescents react differently from adult patients when looking at frightening faces.
- Learning Disability Reversed in Mice
- Science Update November 25, 2008
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.
- Genomic Dragnet Finds Clues to Likely Suspects in Alzheimer’s
- Science Update November 06, 2008
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.
- Genes That Turn On Together Hold Secrets of Brain’s Molecular Instructions
- Science Update November 05, 2008
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.
- Brain’s Response to Scary Faces Imaged Faster Than You Can Say “Boo!”
- Science Update October 31, 2008
Scientists have captured the split-second workings of the brain’s fear circuitry in people viewing frightful faces.
- Viral Genetic Underpinnings of HIV-associated Dementia Explored
- Science Update October 09, 2008
A new study identifies differences between genetic variants of HIV that are associated with HIV-associated dementia (HAD).
- NIMH Funds Nine Innovative Projects to Pursue Major Challenges
- Science Update September 03, 2008
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has awarded nine exceptionally innovative research projects that hold promise for broad and deep impact on medical science.
- Gene Associated with Social Behavior in Animals Has Similar Effects in Human Males
- Science Update September 02, 2008
A gene variant related to the hormone vasopressin appears to be associated with how human males bond with their partners or wives, according to an NIMH-funded study.
- NIH Funds Nine Centers to Speed Application of Powerful New Research Approach
- Press Release September 02, 2008
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).
- A Night’s Sleep Gives Emotional Memories Their Staying Power
- Science Update August 14, 2008
For the first time, researchers have found that following a night's sleep, emotional components of scenes are remembered at the expense of neutral components.
- New Grant Supports Stem Cell-Derived Model of Autism-Related Illness
- Science Update June 26, 2008
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.
- Mice Expressing Human Genes Bred to Help Unravel Mental Disorders
- Science Update June 26, 2008
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.
- Potential New Target Found for Developing Medications to Treat Bipolar Disorder
- Science Update June 20, 2008
Medications that target the protein BAG1, which regulates a process that can trigger symptoms in people who have bipolar disorder, may offer a new way of treating the disease, according to NIMH scientists.
- The Maturing Brain Parallels its Evolution
- Science Update June 05, 2008
Evolutionarily older areas of the human brain that mature earliest follow a simple, straight-line growth pattern.
- One Gene Overrides Another to Prevent Brain Changes that Foster Depression
- Science Update March 12, 2008
For what appears to be the first time in humans, scientists have detected an interaction between genes that may help prevent brain changes that increase vulnerability to depression.
- Genetic Tags Reveal Secrets of Memories’ Staying Power in Mice
- Press Release February 21, 2008
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.
- Scans Reveal Faulty Brain Wiring Caused by Missing Genes
- Science Update February 20, 2008
An NIMH study using an emerging imaging technology has discovered faulty wiring in the brains of people with Williams Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects some aspects of thinking.
- Tomorrow’s Antidepressants: Skip the Serotonin Boost?
- Science Update February 14, 2008
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.
- IQ Boost From Breast Milk Linked to Gene-Environment Interaction
- Science Update December 17, 2007
A new study shows that the intellectual boost associated with breast milk is only attained if a child has inherited one of two versions of a specific gene.
- Schizophrenia-Related Gene Linked to Imbalance in Dopamine Pathways
- Science Update December 17, 2007
Forms of a gene known to increase risk for schizophrenia may create an imbalance in brain pathways for dopamine, suggests a recent study by NIMH scientists.
- Depression’s Flip Side Shares its Circuitry
- Science Update November 14, 2007
Humans tend to be overly optimistic about the future, sometimes underestimating risks and making unrealistic plans, notes NIMH grantee Elizabeth Phelps, Ph.D., New York University.
- Researchers Suggest Updating Criteria for HIV-associated Neurocognitive Disorders
- Science Update November 08, 2007
After 10 years since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the criteria for classifying HIV-related neurocognitive disorders may need to be revised and updated, according to a working group designated by NIMH and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to study the issue. The study was published October 30, 2007, in the journal Neurology.
- Memory-sustaining Enzyme May Help Treat PTSD, Cognitive Decline
- Science Update November 02, 2007
Chemically blocking an enzyme in a specific area in the brain’s cortex, or outer mantle, erased a long-term memory of an aversive event that rats had learned, a study funded in part by NIMH has found.
- New Social Neuroscience Grants to Help Unravel Autism, Anxiety Disorders
- Science Update October 10, 2007
How genes and the environment shape the brain circuitry underlying social behavior is among the questions being addressed by three newly NIMH-funded studies.
- Bipolar Disorder Phenome Database May Aid Search for Related Genes
- Science Update October 02, 2007
Early findings from the recently launched Bipolar Disorder Phenome Database were published in the August 2007 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.
- Gene Triggers Obsessive Compulsive Disorder-Like Syndrome in Mice
- Press Release August 22, 2007
Using genetic engineering, researchers have created an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) - like set of behaviors in mice and reversed them with antidepressants and genetic targeting of a key brain circuit. The study, by National Institutes of Health (NIH) -funded researchers, suggests new strategies for treating the disorder.
- New Studies Search for Clues to Mental Illness in Gatekeepers of Gene Expression
- Science Update August 10, 2007
What goes awry in the brain to cause mental illness may ultimately be traced to glitches in genes - but not necessarily the parts of genes commonly suspected.
- New Technique Pinpoints Crossroads of Depression in Rat Brain
- Science Update August 02, 2007
NIMH-funded scientists have developed a new high-speed technique for imaging brain activity and used it to pinpoint a circuit signal in rats that may be at the crossroads of depression — a possible "final common pathway" where different causes of, and treatments for, the disorder appear to converge.
- Study Offers Glimpse of Molecules That Keep Memories Alive
- Science Update July 02, 2007
Working memory is a kind of temporary-storage system in the brain. Unlike long-term memory, it stores disposable information we must keep in mind only transiently, for tasks at hand. But how?
- Genetic Roots of Bipolar Disorder Revealed by First Genome-Wide Study of Illness
- Press Release May 08, 2007
The likelihood of developing bipolar disorder depends in part on the combined, small effects of variations in many different genes in the brain, none of which is powerful enough to cause the disease by itself, a new study shows.
- Cell Networking Keeps Brain’s Master Clock Ticking
- Science Update May 04, 2007
Each day, a master clock in the brain synchronizes the timing of lesser clocks in cells throughout the body to the rising and setting of the sun, regulating such daily rhythms as sleep, body temperature, eating, and activity. Scientists funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health have now discovered that the secret to this master clock’s robust time-keeping ability lies in the unique way its cells work together.
- Cortex Area Thinner in Youth with Alzheimer’s-Related Gene
- Press Release April 24, 2007
A part of the brain first affected by Alzheimer’s disease is thinner in youth with a risk gene for the disorder, a brain imaging study by researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has found.
- Gene Knockout Unleashes Manic Mouse
- Science Update April 05, 2007
Mice engineered to lack a specific gene showed behaviors similar to human mania in a study funded in part by NIMH; they were hyperactive, slept less, appeared less depressed and anxious, and craved sugar, cocaine and pleasure stimulation.
- Scientists Switch Neurons On and Off Using Light
- Science Update April 05, 2007
Researchers have invented a genetically-engineered way to turn the electrical impulses of brain cells on and off with pulses of blue and yellow light — in synch with the split-second pace of real time neuronal activity.
- Adolescent Brains Show Lower Activity in Areas That Control Risky Choices
- Science Update March 15, 2007
A new NIMH study could help explain why adolescents are so prone to make risky choices. When contemplating risky decisions, they show less activity in regions of the brain that regulate processes involved in decision-making, compared with adults.
- Tiny, Spontaneous Gene Mutations May Boost Autism Risk
- Press Release March 15, 2007
Tiny gene mutations, each individually rare, pose more risk for autism than had been previously thought, suggests a study funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health, a component of the National Institutes of Health.
- Virtual-Reality Video Game Helps Link Depression to Specific Brain Area
- Science Update March 01, 2007
Scientists are using a virtual-reality, three-dimensional video game that challenges spatial memory as a new tool for assessing the link between depression and the hippocampus, the brain’s memory hub.
- Largest-Ever Search for Autism Genes Reveals New Clues
- Press Release February 18, 2007
The largest search for autism genes to date, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has implicated components of the brain’s glutamate chemical messenger system and a previously overlooked site on chromosome 11.
- Common Gene Version Optimizes Thinking — but With a Possible Downside
- Press Release February 09, 2007
Most people inherit a version of a gene that optimizes their brain’s thinking circuitry, yet also appears to increase risk for schizophrenia, a severe mental illness marked by impaired thinking, scientists at the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have discovered.
- Autism Research Efforts Highlighted in Biological Psychiatry Special Issue
- Science Update February 06, 2007
The February 15, 2007 special issue of Biological Psychiatry is dedicated to recent advances in autism research, including many studies funded by the Institute.
- Brain’s Reward Circuit Activity Ebbs and Flows with a Woman’s Hormonal Cycle
- Press Release February 02, 2007
Fluctuations in sex hormone levels during women’s menstrual cycles affect the responsiveness of their brains’ reward circuitry, an imaging study at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has revealed.
- New Tests May Help Researchers Detect Genetic Basis For Autism
- Science Update January 30, 2007
Researchers have developed a set of behavioral tests in mice that mimic the core features of autism and may prove useful in detecting a genetic basis for the deficits in social interactions and rigid thinking seen in the disorder.
- Clues to Making and Breaking Memories Included in List of Year’s Top Science
- Science Update January 30, 2007
NIMH-funded researchers were cited in Science Magazine’s December 2006 “Breakthrough of the Year” special issue.
- Gene Variant Linked to Schizophrenia
- Science Update January 23, 2007
A gene implicated in schizophrenia in adults has now also been linked to schizophrenia in children for the first time, strengthening evidence that the gene plays a role in the disease.
- Different Families, Different Characteristics — Different Kinds of Bipolar Disorder?
- Science Update January 03, 2007
People with bipolar disorder (BPD) tend to share similarities in certain characteristics with other members of their families, NIMH-funded researchers have shown.
- Experience Sculpts Brain Circuitry to Build Resiliency to Stress
- Press Release December 21, 2006
It’s long been known that experiencing control over a stressor immunizes a rat from developing a depression-like syndrome when it later encounters stressors that it can’t control.
- Receptor Helps Neurons Grow in Right Direction
- Science Update December 12, 2006
Researchers have discovered a receptor for a key protein that helps guide certain nerve cells into the correct position as the nervous system develops — a vital part of a process that enables the brain to receive sensory input from the environment and to send messages to the rest of the body via the spinal cord.
- Broad HIV Screening Valuable Even in Communities with Low Infection Rates
- Science Update December 05, 2006
An HIV/AIDS screening program may be cost-effective even in communities where the infection rate and the prevalence of the disease are very low and among populations at low risk for HIV infection, according to an NIMH-funded study published December 5, 2006, in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
- Brain’s Fear Center Likely Shrinks in Autism’s Most Severely Socially Impaired
- Press Release December 04, 2006
The brain’s fear hub likely becomes abnormally small in the most severely socially impaired males with autism spectrum disorders, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and National Institute on Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) have discovered.
- More Direct Way to Map Brain Activity Deemed Feasible
- Science Update October 30, 2006
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to directly detect the electrical activity emitted by neurons, NIMH scientists and colleagues have demonstrated.
- New Research Helps to Improve Understanding of Bipolar Disorder in Youth
- Science Update October 24, 2006
Bipolar disorder may be hard to identify in children and adolescents for several reasons, including a lack of age-appropriate diagnostic guidelines and symptoms different than those commonly seen in adults with the disorder.
- Gene Linked to Autism in Families with More Than One Affected Child
- Press Release October 17, 2006
A version of a gene has been linked to autism in families that have more than one child with the disorder. Inheriting two copies of this version more than doubled a child’s risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder, scientists supported by NIMH and NICHD have discovered.
- Gene Therapy May One Day Prevent AIDS–Related Brain–Cell Death
- Science Update October 11, 2006
Scientists have shown that gene therapy has potential for treating brain pathology triggered by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS.
- How Strep Triggers Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – New Clues
- Science Update October 11, 2006
A likely mechanism by which a bacterial infection triggers obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in some children has been demonstrated by NIMH scientists and collaborators at California State University and the University of Oklahoma.
- Shy Temperament: More than Just Fearful
- Science Update August 07, 2006
Compared to others, children with extremely shy temperament have heightened brain activity in response to any prominent event, whether the event is positive or negative, a new imaging study suggests.
- Receptor Knockout Yields an Adventurous Mouse
- Press Release August 01, 2006
Mice altered to lack a particular type of receptor in the brain’s executive hub are more prone to go where normal mice fear to tread, NIMH funded scientists have discovered.
- Males with Autism Have Fewer Cells in Brain’s Emotional Memory Hub
- Science Update July 26, 2006
Males with autism have fewer cells in a part of the brain that has a key role in emotion and memory, according to NIMH-funded researchers at the University of California, Davis.
- New Tool Can Boost or Block the Body’s Protective Inner Barriers
- Press Release July 13, 2006
A team of experts funded by NIH has developed a chemical tool that allows scientists to manipulate control of the passage of substances through the barriers between blood and the tissues of every organ — from the brain, lungs, and heart to the organs of the immune system.
- Studies ID Molecular Accomplices of Suspect Schizophrenia Genes
- Science Update May 02, 2006
NIMH-funded researchers have discovered how certain genes work at the molecular level to increase the risk of schizophrenia.
- Properly Timed Light, Melatonin Lift Winter Depression by Syncing Rhythms
- Science Update May 01, 2006
Most Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) symptoms stem from daily body rhythms that have gone out-of-sync with the sun, a NIMH-funded study has found.
- Cortex Matures Faster in Youth with Highest IQ
- Press Release March 29, 2006
Youth with superior IQ are distinguished by how fast the thinking part of their brains thickens and thins as they grow up, researchers at NIMH have discovered.
- Aggression-Related Gene Weakens Brain’s Impulse Control Circuits
- Press Release March 20, 2006
A version of a gene previously linked to impulsive violence appears to weaken brain circuits that regulate impulses, emotional memory and thinking in humans, researchers at NIMH have found.
- Gene Influences Antidepressant Response
- Press Release March 15, 2006
Whether depressed patients will respond to an antidepressant depends, in part, on which version of a gene they inherit, a study led by scientists at NIH has discovered. Having two copies of one version of a gene that codes for a component of the brain’s mood―regulating system increased the odds of a favorable response to an antidepressant by up to 18 percent, compared to having two copies of the other, more common version.
- Depression Model Leaves Mice with Molecular Scar
- Press Release February 27, 2006
In addition to triggering a depression-like social withdrawal syndrome, repeated defeat by dominant animals leaves a mouse with an enduring “molecular scar” in its brain that could help to explain why depression is so difficult to cure, suggest researchers funded by NIMH.
- Lithium Blocks Enzyme To Help Cells’ Clocks Keep On Tickin’
- Science Update February 17, 2006
NIMH-funded researchers have discovered how lithium likely fixes body clocks gone awry, stabilizing sleep-wake cycles and other daily rhythms disturbed along with mood in bipolar disorder.
- Mice Lacking Social Memory Molecule Take Bullying in Stride
- Press Release February 09, 2006
The social avoidance that normally develops when a mouse repeatedly experiences defeat by a dominant animal disappears when it lacks a gene for a memory molecule in a brain circuit for social learning, scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have discovered.
- Nobelist Discovers Antidepressant Protein in Mouse Brain
- Press Release January 06, 2006
A protein that seems to be pivotal in lifting depression has been discovered by a Nobel Laureate researcher funded by NIMH.
- Trust-Building Hormone Short-Circuits Fear In Humans
- Press Release December 07, 2005
A brain chemical recently found to boost trust appears to work by reducing activity and weakening connections in fear-processing circuitry, a brain imaging study at the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has discovered.
- Gene Knockout Scores a Fearless Mouse
- Press Release November 22, 2005
Knocking out a gene in the brain's fear hub creates mice unperturbed by situations that would normally trigger instinctive or learned fear responses, researchers funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health have discovered.
- Teens with Deletion Syndrome Confirm Gene’s Role in Psychosis
- Press Release October 23, 2005
A study in youth who are missing part of a chromosome is further implicating a suspect gene in schizophrenia.
- NIH Joined by Advocacy Groups to Fund Research on Autism Susceptibility Genes
- Press Release October 18, 2005
Five institutes at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and three private autism organizations have formed a consortium to pursue their common goal of understanding a devastating disorder.
- Scientists Uncover New Clues About Brain Function in Human Behavior
- Press Release July 10, 2005
Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health, have discovered a genetically controlled brain mechanism responsible for social behavior in humans — one of the most important but least understood aspects of human nature.
- NIH “Roadmap” Grants Will Establish Nine Screening Centers in Seven States
- Press Release June 15, 2005
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today announced it is awarding $88.9 million in grants to nine institutions over three years to establish a collaborative research network that will use high-tech screening methods to identify small molecules that can be used as research tools.
- Rodent Social Behavior Encoded in Junk DNA
- Press Release June 09, 2005
A discovery that may someday help to explain human social behavior and disorders such as autism has been made in a species of pudgy rodents by researchers funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and National Center for Research Resources (NCRR).
- NIMH Research Showcased at APA Meeting
- Press Release May 18, 2005
At the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) annual meeting in Atlanta next week, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) will showcase advances in translating new scientific knowledge into improved treatments for mental disorders.
- Depression Gene May Weaken Mood-Regulating Circuit
- Press Release May 09, 2005
A brain scan study suggests that a suspect gene may increase susceptibility to anxiety and depression by weakening a circuit for processing negative emotion.
- Brain Scans Reveal How Gene May Boost Schizophrenia Risk
- Press Release April 21, 2005
Clues about how a suspect version of a gene may slightly increase risk for schizophrenia are emerging from a brain imaging study by the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
- Brain Awareness Week Teaches Kids How Their Brains Work
- Science Update March 07, 2005
The fifth annual Brain Awareness Week (BAW), a science and health education fair to teach 5th–8th grade students about the brain, will take place March 14–18, 2005 at the National Museum of Health and Medicine at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
- Rat Brain’s Executive Hub Quells Alarm Center if Stress is Controllable
- Press Release February 11, 2005
Treatments for mood and anxiety disorders are thought to work, in part, by helping patients control the stresses in their lives.
- Birds Brainier Than Previously Thought
- Press Release February 03, 2005
The brains of birds appear to be more similar to those of mammals than previously thought.
- New Neurons Born in Adult Rat Cortex
- Press Release February 02, 2005
Recent evidence suggesting that antidepressants may act by triggering the birth of new neurons in the adult hippocampus,* the brain's memory hub, has heightened interest in such adult neurogenesis and raised the question: Could new neurons also be sprouting up in the parts of the adult brain involved in the thinking and mood disturbances of depression and anxiety?
- Nobel Laureate Axelrod, Neuroscience Pioneer
- Press Release December 30, 2004
Nobel Laureate Julius Axelrod, Ph.D., an NIMH researcher since 1955, died in his sleep early Wednesday morning, December 29, 2004.
- International Coalition to Fund Autism Genetics Research
- Press Release December 29, 2004
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.
- Mutant Gene Linked to Treatment-Resistant Depression
- Science Update December 13, 2004
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).
- Stress Impairs Thinking Via Mania-Linked Enzyme
- Press Release October 29, 2004
An errant enzyme linked to bipolar disorder, in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, impairs cognition under stress, an animal study shows.
- Perceptual Decision-Making Hub Pinpointed in Human Brain
- Press Release October 18, 2004
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.
- NIMH Grant to Explore Genetics of Autism
- Press Release October 08, 2004
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.
- New Learning Techniques Improves Global HIV/AIDS Prevention
- Press Release September 28, 2004
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.
- Rare Deficit Maps Thinking Circuitry
- Press Release September 01, 2004
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.
- Schizophrenia Gene Variant Linked to Risk Traits
- Press Release August 11, 2004
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.
- Brain’s Reward Circuitry Revealed in Procrastinating Primates
- Press Release August 10, 2004
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.
- Depression Traced to Overactive Brain Circuit
- Press Release August 02, 2004
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.
- Imaging Study Shows Brain Maturing
- Press Release May 17, 2004
The brain's center of reasoning and problem solving is among the last to mature, a new study graphically reveals.
- Research to Test Treatment of Cognitive Dysfunction in Schizophrenia
- Press Release May 06, 2004
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).
- Brain Signal Predicts Working Memory Prowess
- Press Release April 16, 2004
Some people are better than others at remembering what they have just seen—holding mental pictures in mind from moment to moment.
- Making Sense of the Brain’s Mind-Boggling Complexity
- Press Release April 16, 2004
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).
- Monkey Talk, Human Speech Share Left-Brain Processing
- Press Release January 29, 2004
Scans have pinpointed circuits in the monkey brain that could be precursors of those in humans for speech and language.
- Emotion-Regulating Protein Lacking in Panic Disorder
- Press Release January 20, 2004
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’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have discovered.
- Mental Illness Genetics Among Science’s Top “Breakthroughs“ for 2003
- Press Release December 22, 2003
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.
- Mutant Gene Linked to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Press Release October 23, 2003
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.
- New Program Will Pursue Schizophrenia Gene Leads
- Press Release September 12, 2003
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.
- Creation of New Neurons Critical to Antidepressant Action in Mice
- Press Release August 07, 2003
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).
- Gene More Than Doubles Risk Of Depression Following Life Stresses
- Press Release July 17, 2003
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).
- NIMH Awards $22.6 Million for Center for Collaborative Research on Mental Disorders
- Press Release July 01, 2003
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.
- Brain Cells Seen Recycling Rapidly To Speed Communications
- Press Release June 10, 2003
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.
- Monkey's Memory Cells Caught in the Act of Learning
- Press Release June 05, 2003
NIH-funded scientists have detected direct evidence of individual brain cells signaling the formation of new memories.
- Lithium Shows Promise Against Alzheimer’s in Mouse Model
- Press Release May 21, 2003
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.
- NIH Awards Grants for Six New Autism Research Centers
- Press Release May 13, 2003
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.
- Genes, Brain and Behavior Symposium April 16
- Press Release April 09, 2003
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.
- Telltale Protein Defects Mark Fragile X Pathways
- Press Release February 12, 2003
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.
- Human Gene Affects Memory
- Press Release January 23, 2003
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.
- Mouse Gene Knockout Illuminates How Light Resets Clock
- Press Release December 13, 2002
A key role in synchronizing daily rhythms to the day/night cycle has been traced to a light-sensitive protein in the eye, by knocking out the gene that codes for it.
- Mimicking Brain’s “All Clear” Quells Fear in Rats
- Press Release November 06, 2002
Researchers funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have discovered a high tech way to quell panic in rats.
- Brain Shrinkage in ADHD Not Caused by Medications
- Press Release October 08, 2002
A 10-year study by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) scientists has found that brains of children and adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are 3-4 percent smaller than those of children who don't have the disorder—and that medication treatment is not the cause.
- NIH Awards Grants for Two New Autism Research Centers
- Press Release September 18, 2002
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced grants totaling $19 million to support the first two research centers of a major network of facilities to focus on the biomedical and behavioral aspects of autism.
- Even Neurons Have Favorite Numbers
- Press Release September 05, 2002
Scientists have discovered individual brain cells that represent the concept of numbers.
- Drug Targets Brain Circuits that Drive Appetite and Body Weight
- Press Release July 25, 2002
Research conducted in animals has revealed that an appetite suppressant drug, D-fenfluramine (D-FEN), activates brain pathways that regulate food intake and body weight.
- Gene May Bias Amygdala Response to Frightful Faces
- Press Release July 18, 2002
The amygdala, the brain structure known as the hub of fear, responds differently to pictures of scary faces, depending on which version of a gene one has inherited, report National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) scientists.
- “Power Nap” Prevents Burnout; Morning Sleep Perfects a Skill
- Press Release July 02, 2002
Evidence is mounting that sleep—even a nap—appears to enhance information processing and learning.
- Brain Signal Boosts as Monkey Nears Reward
- Press Release May 30, 2002
Delaying gratification while working toward a goal appears to have roots in a specific brain circuit.
- Placebo, Antidepressant May Lift Depression Via Common Mechanism
- Press Release May 01, 2002
Whether it's a widely prescribed medication or a placebo, a successful treatment for depression must trigger a common pattern of brain activity changes, suggests a team of researchers funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.
- Timing of Chemical Signal Critical for Normal Emotional Development
- Press Release March 27, 2002
A signaling protein suspected of malfunctioning in anxiety and mood disorders plays a key role in the development of emotional behavior, report researchers funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
- $6 Million Grant to Expand Search for Autism Genes
- Press Release March 11, 2002
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) today awarded the first installment of an expected $6 million grant over 5 years to researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for major expansion of a collaborative effort to identify autism genes.
- Scans Link 2 Key Pieces of Schizophrenia Puzzle
- Press Release January 28, 2002
Using functional brain imaging, National Institute of Mental Health scientists for the first time have linked two key, but until now unconnected, brain abnormalities in schizophrenia.
- NIMH Awards Howard University $6.5 Million
- Press Release January 25, 2002
Howard University Hospital Department of Psychiatry in the College of Medicine (HUCM) has been awarded $6.5 million from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for a five-year project to implement and develop research studies pertaining to mood and anxiety disorders.
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