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Science News About Clinical Research and Trials

Neuroimaging Technique May Help Predict Autism among High-Risk Infants

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Functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI) may predict which high-risk, 6-month old infants will develop autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by age 2 years.

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Pediatrics-based Brief Therapy Outdoes Referral for Youths with Anxiety and Depression

Science Update

A streamlined behavioral therapy delivered in a pediatrics practice offered much greater benefit to youth with anxiety and depression than a more standard referral to mental health care with follow-up in a clinical trial comparing the two approaches.

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Recruitment Begins for Landmark Study of Adolescent Brain Development

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The study will follow the biological and behavioral development of more than 10,000 children through adolescence into early adulthood.

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Electroconvulsive Therapy Lifts Depression, Sustains Remission in Older Adults

Science Update

An individualized program of follow-up treatment with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) combined with an antidepressant was effective in preventing relapse in patients 60 years and older who had had a successful initial course of treatment for severe depression.

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A BRIGHT Technological Future for Mental Health Trials

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Is mobile mental health research the next frontier for smartphones? Based on Dr. Patricia Areán’s pioneering BRIGHTEN study, research via smartphone app is already a reality.

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Team-based Treatment for First Episode Psychosis Found to be High Value

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Coordinated Specialty Care for First Episode Psychosis is Cost Effective

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NIH-supported NeuroBioBank Joins Autism BrainNet in Brain Donation Initiative

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Two of the world’s largest brain tissue banks unify efforts to collect and distribute a critical number of brain donations for important autism research.

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Team-based Treatment is Better for First Episode Psychosis

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New research shows that a team-based, coordinated specialty care treatment plan produces better outcomes than typical community care for people with first episode psychosis. Investigators also found that treatment is most effective for people who receive care soon after psychotic symptoms begin.

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NIH Joins Public-Private Partnership to Fund Research on Autism Biomarkers

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James McPartland, Ph.D. of Yale University will lead a new four-year $28 million Biomarkers Consortium project that aims to improve clinical evaluation of treatments for social impairment in children with autism.

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Pioneering NIMH Data Sharing

Science Update

NIMH’s first major effort to share clinical trial research data—established before many current data registries existed—is still doing a brisk business.

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Medications for Patients with First Episode Psychosis May Not Meet Guidelines

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Many patients with first-episode psychosis receive medications that do not meet guidelines. A study finds that almost 40 % of people with first-episode psychosis in community mental health clinics across the country might benefit from medication treatment changes.

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Largest Autism Gene Dragnet Fingers 33 Prime Suspects

Science Update

Many patients with psychosis develop health risks associated with premature death early in the course of their mental illness, researchers have found.

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Groundbreaking Suicide Study

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A groundbreaking study will help researchers learn more about treating people with suicidal thoughts. Nearly 20,000 patients will be able to enroll in the trial. One of the treatments being tested was developed with the help of other patients

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Increased Health Risks Linked to First-episode Psychosis

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Many patients with psychosis develop health risks associated with premature death early in the course of their mental illness, researchers have found.

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For Schizophrenia, Newer Injectables Not Necessarily Better

Science Update

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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NIH Directors Discuss Sequestration and Research on C-SPAN

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Despite facing lean financial times, NIH continues to generate the most bang for the buck regarding research. Tomorrow on C-SPAN Washington Journal, NIH Directors Drs. Collins, Insel, Fauci, Varmus, and Green will field questions from the public pertaining to sequestration and research as well as other topics.

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Community-based Treatments Offset Depression Disparities

Science Update

Improving care for depression in low-income communities -- places where such help is frequently unavailable or hard to find -- provides greater benefits to those in need when community groups such as churches and even barber shops help lead the planning process, according to a new study.

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NIH Funds Industry Collaborations to Identify New Uses for Existing Compounds

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NIH Funds Industry Collaborations to Identify New Uses for Existing Compounds

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Ketamine Cousin Rapidly Lifts Depression Without Side Effects

Science Update

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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NIH Study Shows People with Serious Mental Illnesses Can Lose Weight

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Losing weight is challenging for everyone. It can be particularly difficult for someone with a serious mental illness. An NIMH-funded clinical study proves that a modified diet and exercise program can work for people with serious mental illnesses. Participants lost 7 pounds more than controls—and continued to lose weight.

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NIH-funded Study Finds Community-based Efforts Increase HIV Testing, Prompt Behavior Change

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An international study supported by NIMH reported today that community efforts, in comparison to standard clinical testing and counseling, yielded greater testing and lower HIV incidence in high-risk individuals.

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Leading Neurobiologist Appointed NIMH Scientific Director

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Renowned neurobiologist Susan Amara recently joined NIMH as scientific director of its intramural research program.

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Study Documents that Some Children Lose Autism Diagnosis

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An NIH-supported study has confirmed that some children who are accurately diagnosed in early childhood with autism lose the symptoms and the diagnosis as they grow older.

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Guide Offers a Blueprint for End-of-Life Conversation With Youth

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A new guide can help young people with serious illness express how they would like to be cared for and supported.

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President Obama Signs Executive Order to Improve Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families

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President Obama signed an Executive Order directing key federal departments to expand suicide prevention strategies and take steps to meet the current and future demand for mental health and substance abuse treatment services for veterans, service members, and their families.

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Couple’s Therapy Appears to Decrease PTSD Symptoms, Improve Relationship

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Among couples in which one partner was diagnosed as having posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), participation in disorder-specific couple therapy resulted in decreased PTSD symptom severity and increased patient relationship satisfaction, compared with couples who were placed on a wait list for the therapy, according to a study in the August 15 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on violence and human rights.

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Targeted Behavioral Therapy Can Effectively Control Tics in Adults with Tourette Syndrome

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New research finds that a modified cognitive behavioral therapy can successfully control the tics in adults who have Tourette Syndrome.

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Brain Signal ID’s Responders to Fast-Acting Antidepressant

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Biomarkers identified in research on a fast-acting antidepressant can signal who will respond to the medication and are providing clues to how it works to lift depression.

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Computer-Based Treatment Eases Anxiety Symptoms in Children

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Results from a small clinical trial suggest that it might be possible, using computer-based training, to help children with anxiety shift their attention away from threat.

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NIH-funded Study Defines Treatment Window for HIV-positive Children Infected at Birth

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HIV-positive children older than 1 year who were treated after showing moderate HIV-related symptoms did not experience greater cognitive or behavior problems compared to peers treated when signs of their infection were still mild, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

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Atypical Antipsychotic More Effective than Older Drugs in Treating Childhood Mania, but Side Effects Can Be Serious

Science Update

The antipsychotic medication risperidone is more effective for initial treatment of mania in children diagnosed with bipolar disorder compared to other mood stabilizing medications, but it carries the potential for serious metabolic side effects, according to an NIMH-funded study published online ahead of print January 2, 2012, in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Suspect Gene Variants Boost PTSD Risk after Mass Shooting

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College students exposed to a mass shooting were 20-30 percent more likely to later develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms if they harbored a risk version of a gene, NIMH-funded researchers have discovered.

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Interventions Show Promise in Treating Depression Among Preschoolers

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A new psychosocial approach shows promise in helping preschoolers with symptoms of depression function better and learn to regulate their emotions, according to an NIMH-funded study published online ahead of print October 31, 2011, in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

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Our Brains Are Made of the Same Stuff, Despite DNA Differences

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Despite vast differences in the genetic code across individuals and ethnicities, the human brain shows a “consistent molecular architecture.” The finding is from a pair of studies that have created databases revealing when and where genes turn on and off in multiple brain regions through development.

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Continued Use of Stimulants for ADHD Likely Does Not Increase Risk for Hypertension, but May Affect Heart Rate

Science Update

Chronic use of stimulant medication to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children does not appear to increase risk for high blood pressure over the long term, but it may have modest effects on heart rate, according to follow-up data from the NIMH-funded Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD (MTA).

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NIMH RAISE Project Makes Progress as Teams Refine Research Approaches

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Researchers continue to make progress in the NIMH Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) Project, which seeks to intervene at the earliest stages of illness in order to prevent long term disability. Recent refinements to the two RAISE studies will ensure that RAISE continues efficiently, and generates results that will be relevant to consumers and health care policy makers.

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For Minor Depression, Study Shows No Benefit Over Placebo from St. John’s Wort, Citalopram

Science Update

An extract of the herb St. Johns Wort and a standard antidepressant medication both failed to outdo a placebo in relieving symptoms of minor depression in a clinical trial comparing the three. The results of this study, consistent with earlier research, do not in support the use of medications for mild depression.

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Switching Antipsychotics May Reduce Metabolic Risks

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Patients experiencing cardiovascular or metabolic side effects while taking an antipsychotic medication may fare better if they switch to a different medication provided they are closely monitored, according to an NIMH-funded study.

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Support Program Can Help Caregivers Cope with Relative’s Mental Illness

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A free, nationally available program can significantly improve a family’s ability to cope with an ill relative’s mental disorder, according to an NIMH-funded study published June 2011 in Psychiatric Services, a journal of the American Psychiatric Association.

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Combination Antidepressant Therapy May Not Improve Odds of Remission Among Chronically Depressed

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A combination of two antidepressants may not be any more effective in treating chronic major depression than a single antidepressant, according to an NIMH-funded study published online ahead of print May 2, 2011, in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Case-managed Care Improves Outcomes for Depressed Patients with Multiple Medical Conditions

Science Update

People with diabetes or heart disease plus depression fare better if their medical care is coordinated by a care manager who also educates patients about their condition and provides motivational support, compared to those who receive care from their primary care physician only, according to an NIMH-funded study published December 30, 2010, in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Teens Who Recover from Hard-to-treat Depression Still at Risk for Relapse

Science Update

Teens with hard-to-treat depression who reach remission after 24 weeks of treatment are still at a significant risk for relapse, according to long-term, follow-up data from an NIMH-funded study published online ahead of print November 16, 2010, in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. The long-term data reiterate the need for aggressive treatment decisions for teens with stubborn depression.

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Early Treatment Decisions Crucial for Teens with Treatment-resistant Depression

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An early response to second-course treatment is associated with greater likelihood of remission among teens with hard-to-treat depression, according to recent data from an NIMH-funded study published online ahead of print May 17, 2010, in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Behavioral Intervention Effectively Controls Tics in Many Children with Tourette Syndrome

Science Update

A comprehensive behavioral therapy is more effective than basic supportive therapy and education in helping children with Tourette syndrome manage their tics, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The study was published May 19, 2010, in a special issue of the Journal of the American Medication Association dedicated to mental health.

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Rapid Antidepressant Action of Common Medication Confirmed by Repeat Trial

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Confirming results from earlier research, a clinical trial of treatment for major depression showed that the medication scopolamine, commonly used for motion sickness and as a sedative, could lift symptoms of depression within days, far faster than current antidepressants. Though the study was small, the magnitude of scopolamine’s effects in comparison with placebo suggests that this class of medications has potential for rapid treatment of depression.

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New Grant Aims to Identify and Reduce Suicide Among Emergency Department Patients

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A new NIMH-funded grant aims to increase suicide detection and prevention efforts among patients who present with suicide risk factors in hospital emergency departments.

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Substance Use Associated with Low Response to Depression Treatment Among Teens

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Depressed teens who report low levels of impairment related to drug or alcohol use tended to respond better to depression treatment than depressed teens with higher levels substance-related impairment, according to an analysis of data from the NIMH-funded Treatment of SSRI-Resistant Depression in Adolescents (TORDIA) study. However, it is unclear whether less substance-related impairment allowed for better response to depression treatment, or if better treatment response led to less substance-related impairment. The study was published in the December 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

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Parent Training Complements Medication for Treating Behavioral Problems in Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders

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Treatment that includes medication plus a structured training program for parents reduces serious behavioral problems in children with autism and related conditions, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The study, which was part of the NIMH Research Units on Pediatric Psychopharmacology (RUPP) Autism Network, was published in the December 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

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Long-term Depression Treatment Leads to Sustained Recovery for Most Teens

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Long-term treatment of adolescents with major depression is associated with continuous and persistent improvement of depression symptoms in most cases, according to the most recent analysis of follow-up data from the NIMH-funded Treatment of Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS). The report, along with a commentary compiling the take-home messages of the study, was published in the October 2009 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Clinical Tests Begin on Medication to Correct Fragile X Defect

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NIH-supported scientists at Seaside Therapeutics in Cambridge, Mass., are beginning a clinical trial of a potential medication designed to correct a central neurochemical defect underlying Fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited cause of intellectual disability. There has to date been no medication that could alter the disorder’s neurologic abnormalities. The study will evaluate safety, tolerability, and optimal dosage in healthy volunteers.

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Telephone-based Depression Treatment Program Effective While Cost Efficient

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Patients who receive structured, telephone-based support to manage their depression gain significant benefits with only moderate increases in health care costs compared to those who receive usual care, according to an NIMH-funded analysis published in the October 2009 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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New Approach to Reducing Suicide Attempts Among Depressed Teens

Science Update

A novel treatment approach that includes medication plus a newly developed type of psychotherapy that targets suicidal thinking and behavior shows promise in treating depressed adolescents who had recently attempted suicide, according to a treatment development and pilot study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The study, described in three articles, was published in the October 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

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Combination Treatment for Psychotic Depression Holds Promise

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A combination of an atypical antipsychotic medication and an antidepressant known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) may be more effective in treating psychotic depression than an atypical antipsychotic alone, according to results from an NIMH-funded clinical study.

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Searching for Risk Factors of Suicidal Events During Antidepressant Treatment

Science Update

A new set of analyses of the NIMH-funded Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS) were conducted to better understand what may predict the development of suicidal events during treatment. The analyses, which were published in the May 2009 issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, showed that youths with suicidal thoughts and more severe depression prior to treatment were at higher risk for suicidal events while undergoing treatment.

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HIV Prevention Program Gets a Boost From NIMH Recovery Act Funds

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Developing interventions to reduce the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among heterosexual men, couples and ethnically diverse populations continues to be complex and challenging. To help address this issue, NIMH awarded a two-year grant to David Pérez-Jiménez, Ph.D., at the University of Puerto Rico, to support the adaptation and assessment of an HIV and other sexually transmitted infection intervention designed for young, heterosexual Latino couples. This grant will use funds allocated to NIMH through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to promote economic recovery and spur advances in science and health.

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New Technique Pinpoints Crossroads of Depression in Rat Brain

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Science Update - New Technique Pinpoints Crossroads of Depression in Rat Brain

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Short-term Intensive Treatment Not Likely to Improve Long-term Outcomes for Children with ADHD

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Short-term Intensive Treatment Not Likely to Improve Long-term Outcomes for Children with ADHD

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Brain Awareness Week Teaches Kids How Their Brains Work

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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.

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Adolescents with Depression Not Harmed in Studies Using Placebo

Science Update

Teens with depression who initially are randomly assigned to placebo treatment (inactive pill) during a trial are no more likely to experience harm or have a diminished response to subsequent active treatments than teens who are initially randomized to active treatment, according to an analysis of data from the NIMH-funded Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS).

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Intervention Helps Reduce Risky Sexual Behavior Among Homeless HIV-positive Adults

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An NIMH-funded program already shown to reduce risky sexual and substance abuse behavior among HIV-infected adults also appears to be effective in improving the lives of HIV-infected homeless or near-homeless adults, according to a new report.

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Depression Relapse Less Likely Among Teens Who Receive CBT After Medication Therapy

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Adolescents with major depression who received cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) after responding to an antidepressant were less likely to experience a relapse or recurrence of symptoms compared to teens who did not receive CBT, according to a small, NIMH-funded pilot study published in the December 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

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NIMH, U.S. Army Sign MOA to Conduct Groundbreaking Suicide Research

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NIMH and the U.S. Army have entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to conduct research that will help the Army reduce the rate of suicides.

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Study Identifies Three Effective Treatments for Childhood Anxiety Disorders

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Treatment that combines a certain type of psychotherapy with an antidepressant medication is most likely to help children with anxiety disorders, but each of the treatments alone is also effective.

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Certain Antipsychotic Medications May Increase Risk for Heart Disease

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Certain atypical antipsychotic medications may raise the risk for heart disease in people with schizophrenia, according to an analysis of data from the NIMH-funded Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) study.

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New Study to Evaluate Ways to Control Metabolic Side Effects of Antipsychotics

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A new NIMH-funded grant will examine ways to control the metabolic side effects associated with the use of the newer atypical antipsychotic medications in children with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

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Newer Antipsychotics No Better Than Older Drug in Treating Child and Adolescent Schizophrenia

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Two newer atypical antipsychotic medications were no more effective than an older conventional antipsychotic in treating child and adolescent schizophrenia and may lead to more metabolic side effects, according to a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

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Family-Focused Therapy Effective in Treating Depressive Episodes of Bipolar Youth

Science Update

Adolescents with bipolar disorder who received a nine-month course of family-focused therapy (FFT) recovered more quickly from depressive episodes and stayed free of depression for longer periods than a control group, according to an NIMH-funded study published September 2008 in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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New Research to Refine Approaches in Psychotherapy

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Psychotherapy is a crucial part of treatment for many mental disorders, but it can be difficult to identify the right approach for an individual.

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Antipsychotic Does Not Harm—and May Improve—Cognitive Skills in Children with Autism

Science Update

The atypical antipsychotic medication risperidone (Risperdal) does not negatively affect cognitive skills of children with autism, and may lead to improvements, according to an NIMH-funded study published recently in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.

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Health Risks Associated with Certain Antipsychotics Warrant Extra Monitoring

Science Update

Some atypical antipsychotics may be more likely than others to cause metabolic and cardiovascular side effects, according to recent analyses using data from the NIMH-funded Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE).

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Age-related Decline of ADHD Symptoms Disrupted by Middle School

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Although symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity (ADHD) can last into adulthood, typically they decline as a child gets older.

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Newer Antipsychotics No Better Than Older Medications in Reducing Schizophrenia-related Violence

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Antipsychotic medications can reduce the risk of violence among people with schizophrenia, but the newer atypical antipsychotics are no more effective in doing so than older medications, according to a recent analysis of data from the NIMH-funded Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE).

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Antipsychotic Medications May Ease Some Alzheimer’s Symptoms, Not Others

Science Update

Antipsychotic medications may lessen symptoms like hostility and aggression in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, but do not appear to lessen other symptoms or improve quality of life, according to a recent analysis of data from the NIMH-funded Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness Alzheimer’s Disease (CATIE-AD) study.

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New Grant Aims to Overcome Obesity in People with Serious Mental Illness

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A new grant funded by NIMH will test the effectiveness of a promising intervention designed to help people with serious mental illness (SMI) who are overweight or obese lose weight and keep it off.

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HIV-positive Survivors of Sexual Abuse Who Receive Coping Intervention Less Likely to Engage in Unprotected Sex

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HIV-positive people who have experienced childhood sexual abuse are less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior if they receive a group intervention designed to help them cope with their traumatic history, according to an NIMH-funded study published April 1, 2008, in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

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Medication-only Therapy and Combination Therapy Both Cost Effective for Treating Teens with Depression

Science Update

Treating depressed teenagers with either the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) or a combination of fluoxetine and psychotherapy can be cost effective, according to a recent economic analysis of the NIMH-funded Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS). The study was published online ahead of print April 15, 2008, in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Study launched to test possible preventive treatment for schizophrenia in high risk youth

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NIMH has recently awarded a grant to study whether an intensive computerized training program can help prevent those at high risk of developing schizophrenia from having a first psychotic episode and improve adaptive functioning. The program is based on principles of brain development and resilience and an understanding of the processes that go awry in schizophrenia.

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Maintenance Treatment Crucial for Teens’ Recovery from Depression

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Long-term maintenance treatment is likely to sustain improvement and prevent recurrence among adolescents with major depression, according to an NIMH-funded study published in the April 2008 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Group Therapy Program Offers Meaningful Gains for People with Borderline Personality Disorder

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A 20-week group therapy program focusing on cognitive behavioral and skills training, when used in conjunction with usual care, helped reduce symptoms of borderline personality disorder and improve overall functioning, reported NIMH-funded researchers.

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Teens with Treatment-resistant Depression More Likely to Get Better with Switch to Combination Therapy

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Teens with difficult-to-treat depression who do not respond to a first antidepressant medication are more likely to get well if they switch to another antidepressant medication and add psychotherapy rather than just switching to another antidepressant, according to a large, multi-site trial funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The results of the Treatment of SSRI-resistant Depression in Adolescents (TORDIA) trial were published February 27, 2008, in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

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Co-occurring Anxiety Complicates Treatment Response for Those with Major Depression

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People with major depression accompanied by high levels of anxiety are significantly less likely to benefit from antidepressant medication than those without anxiety, according to a study based on data from the NIMH-funded Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study. The study was published online ahead of print in January 2008, in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Genetic Variation May Influence Response to Depression Treatment

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Variations in a gene known as TREK1 may explain some forms of treatment-resistant major depression, according to a new study analyzing genetic data from the NIMH-funded Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) trial. The study was published online February 20, 2008, in Neuropsychopharmacology.

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Team Care for Depressed Older Adults Cuts Overall Medical Costs

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A team approach to depression treatment for older adults, already shown to be effective, is also less expensive than usual care, according to an NIMH-funded study published February 2008 in the American Journal of Managed Care.

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Family-Centered Intervention Effectively Reduces Risky Behavior Among Hispanic Youth

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Science UpdateDecember 20, 2007 Family-centered Intervention Effectively Reduces Risky Behavior Among Hispanic YouthA family-centered program that improves parent-child dynamics and family functioning is more effective at discouraging Hispanic youth from engaging in risky behavior than programs that target specific behaviors, according to a study published in the December 2007 issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

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Behavioral Therapy Effectively Treats Children with Social Phobia

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A behavioral therapy designed to treat children diagnosed with social phobia helped them overcome more of their symptoms than the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac).

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Behavioral Program May Stabilize Stress Hormone Patterns in Foster Children

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An intervention designed to enhance family interaction and improve foster parenting skills may benefit young foster children who had experienced extreme neglect or maltreatment in early life.

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Depressed Adolescents Respond Best to Combination Treatment

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A combination of psychotherapy and antidepressant medication appears to be the most effective treatment for adolescents with major depressive disorder—more than medication alone or psychotherapy alone, according to results from a major clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

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Family Involvement and Focused Intervention May be Key to Helping Teens with Bulimia

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Family-based treatment for adolescent bulimia nervosa (FBT-BN) is more effective than an individual-based therapy called supportive psychotherapy (SPT) in helping teens overcome bulimia according to an NIMH-funded study.

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Studies Refine Understanding of Treatments for Bipolar Disorder

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Two new studies provide additional details on best practices for treating people with bipolar disorder, a sometimes debilitating illness marked by severe mood swings between depression and mania.

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Bipolar Youth Show Distinct Pattern of Brain Development

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The first picturess of the brain changing before-and-after the onset of pediatric bipolar disorder reveal a distinct pattern of development, when compared to that seen in healthy youth or in childhood onset schizophrenia.

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Suspect Schizophrenia Genes Act Together to Thwart Working Memory

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Two gene variants implicated in schizophrenia interact to degrade the brains ability to process information, NIMH researchers have discovered.

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Unpleasant Words Trigger Strong Startle Response in People with Borderline Personality Disorder

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Adults with borderline personality disorder (BPD) showed excessive emotional reactions when looking at words with unpleasant meanings compared to healthy people during an emotionally stimulating task, according to NIMH-funded researchers

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Behavioral Interventions Effective for Preschoolers with ADHD

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Two types of early interventions designed to reduce symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in preschoolers may be effective alternatives or additions to medication treatment, according to a recent NIMH-funded study.

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Half of Children With Autism May be Diagnosable Soon After Their First Birthday

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About half of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can be diagnosed soon after their first birthday; others with the disorder may appear to develop normally until that age and then falter or regress during their second year, NIMH-funded researchers have discovered.

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Parents’ Diagnoses Help to Distinguish Childhood Bipolar Disorder from Severe Mood Dysregulation

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The parents of children who have bipolar disorder are more likely to have bipolar disorder themselves than the parents of children who have severe mood dysregulation (SMD).

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Success or Failure of Antidepressant Citalopram Predicted by Gene Variation

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A variation in a gene called GRIK4 appears to make people with depression more likely to respond to the medication citalopram (Celexa) than are people without the variation, a study by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health, has found.

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Faster-Acting Antidepressants Closer to Becoming a Reality

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A new study has revealed more about how the medication ketamine, when used experimentally for depression, relieves symptoms of the disorder in hours instead of the weeks or months it takes for current antidepressants to work.

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Improvement Following ADHD Treatment Sustained in Most Children

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Most children treated in a variety of ways for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) showed sustained improvement after three years in a major follow-up study funded by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

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Violence in Schizophrenia Patients More Likely Among Those with Childhood Conduct Problems

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Some people with schizophrenia who become violent may do so for reasons unrelated to their current illness, according to a new study analyzing data from the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials for Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE).

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Gene Variants Linked to Suicidal Thoughts in Some Men Starting Antidepressant Treatment

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Some men who experience suicidal thoughts and behaviors after they first start taking antidepressant medications may be genetically predisposed to do so, according to the latest results from the NIMH-funded Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study

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Antipsychotic Medications for Schizophrenia on Equal Footing in Improving Patients’ Thinking Skills

Science Update

Patients with schizophrenia taking antipsychotic medications experience a small improvement in thinking and reasoning skills (neurocognition), but no one medication appears to be better than the others in improving these skills during the first two crucial months of treatment, according to the latest results from the NIMH-funded Clinical Antipsychotic Trials for Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE).

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In Second Try to Treat Depression, Cognitive Therapy Generally As Effective As Medication

Science Update

Switching to or adding cognitive therapy (CT) after a first unsuccessful attempt at treating depression with an antidepressant medication is generally as effective as switching to or adding another medication, but remission may take longer to achieve

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Intensive Psychotherapy More Effective Than Brief Therapy for Treating Bipolar Depression

Press Release

Patients taking medications to treat bipolar disorder are more likely to get well faster and stay well if they receive intensive psychotherapy, according to results from the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD), funded by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

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Study Sheds Light on Medication Treatment Options for Bipolar Disorder

Press Release

For depressed people with bipolar disorder who are taking a mood stabilizer, adding an antidepressant medication is no more effective than a placebo (sugar pill), according to results published online on March 28, 2007 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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HIV Treatment May Help Reduce Severity of Mental Impairment in Children with HIV Infection

Science Update

During the first few years of life, children born with HIV infection are most susceptible to central nervous system (CNS) disease, and can develop impaired cognitive, language, motor and behavioral functioning. However, NIH-funded researchers have found that among children with HIV infection, treatment with a protease inhibitor (PI)- based highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) helped protect against cognitive and motor difficulties compared to a control group of age-matched children who were born to HIV-infected mothers but who did not contract the virus themselves (e.g., HIV-exposed).

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New Details in Schizophrenia Treatment Trial Emerge

Press Release

Two new studies from the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials for Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) provide more insights into comparing treatment options, and to what extent antipsychotic medications help people with schizophrenia learn social, interpersonal and community living skills.

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