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NIMH Releases Strategic Research Priorities Update

Institute Update

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recently released its second annual update of the Strategic Research Priorities.

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The NIH NeuroBioBank: Addressing the Urgent Need for Brain Donation

Science Update

The directors of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke discuss the importance of post-mortem brain donation in a joint message.

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Avenevoli Named NIMH Deputy Director

Science Update

Dr. Shelli Avenevoli has been named deputy director of NIMH.

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Two NIMH Grantees Receive Prestigious Presidential Award

Science Update

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) congratulates two NIMH grantees, Mary Kay Lobo from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Eric Morrow from Brown University, who are among the 102 scientists and researchers receiving the 2017 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

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NIMH’s Francis McMahon, M.D., Awarded Prestigious Colvin Prize

Science Update

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) announces that Francis McMahon, M.D., is a recipient of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation’s 2016 Colvin Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Mood Disorders Research.

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RDoC Unit to Co-host Webinar Series

Science Update

The NIMH Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) unit, the Delaware Project (DP), and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) will launch a webinar series examining the science-to-service pipeline in psychology and psychiatry.

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NIMH’s Karen F. Berman, M.D. elected to National Academy of Medicine

Press Release

At its annual meeting for 2016, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) announced the election of 79 regular members, including the National Institute of Mental Health’s (NIMH Karen F. Berman, M.D. One of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine, election to the Academy recognizes outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

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NIMH Releases Strategic Research Priorities Update

Science Update

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recently released updates to its Strategic Research Priorities.

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RDoC Unit to Host Virtual “Office Hours”

Science Update

RDoC Unit at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) announce that they are holding monthly virtual “office hours” starting Friday, October 14, 2016.

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NIMH Funds 3 ‘Zero Suicide’ Grants

Science Update

NIMH is supporting Zero Suicide efforts with 3 new research grants. Each project focuses on prevention and health care systems.

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NIMH Grantees Named Recipients of Prestigious Kavli Prize

Science Update

Three NIMH grantees have been named recipients of the 2016 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience.

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Webinar Series 2016 – Office for Research on Disparities and Global Mental Health

Institute Update

ORDGMH conducts two series of webinars with NIMH grantees, focusing on mental health disparities and research.

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Human Connectome Project Marks its First Phase

Press Release

Studies based on a database made available by the Human Connectome Project’s first phase reveal that an individual’s brain connectivity can predict his or her behavior.

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NIMH Grantees Named Recipients of Prestigious Presidential Award

Science Update

NIMH congratulates four NIMH grantees who received the 2016 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

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Secrets to Our Smarts Hidden in the Folds of Our Cortex

Science Update

The more folding in the thinking parts of our brain, the smarter we are – to a degree.

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A BRIGHT Technological Future for Mental Health Trials

Science Update

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

Press Release

Coordinated Specialty Care for First Episode Psychosis is Cost Effective

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Biomarker for Brain Excitability May Help Track Medication Effect

Science Update

NIMH scientists have recently discovered a link between order in the activity of neurons in the brain and excitability—how likely it is that individual neurons will “fire”— which may provide a means for monitoring treatment of conditions like epilepsy that would be less invasive and thus more versatile than current methods

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Federal Agencies Partner to Promote Coordinated Services for Patients with First Episode Psychosis

Science Update

On October 16, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced support for a new treatment for first episode psychosis called coordinated specialty care (CSC). This decision means more clinics may be able to offer CSC and it may become more readily available.

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Antipsychotics Use Among Older Adults Increases with Age

Press Release

Researchers find antipsychotic use among older adults increases with age despite known health risks. In 2010, more than 3/4 of seniors receiving an antipsychotic prescription had no documented clinical psychiatric diagnosis during the year. In addition, among those who did have a diagnosed mental disorder and/or dementia, nearly half of the oldest patients had dementia, regardless of FDA warnings that antipsychotics increase mortality in people with dementia.

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Team-based Treatment is Better for First Episode Psychosis

Press Release

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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RDoC Joins the Twitterverse

Science Update

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)’s Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) Unit has launched its official account on Twitter, @NIMH_RDoC.

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Embracing the SPIRIT of reducing suicide

Science Update

NIMH, NIH, and the National Institute of Justice are collaborating on a 4-year, $6.8 million study called Suicide Prevention for at-Risk Individuals in Transition or “SPIRIT.” The study focuses on the high-risk individuals who are transitioning from jail to community. SPIRIT is NIMH’s first major investment in suicide prevention in the justice system.

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Psychosis Treatment Program Expands in New York

Science Update

New York expanded OnTrackNY, a treatment program for youth with psychosis which is an offshoot of one of the two NIMH-funded Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) studies.

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Boys More Likely to Have Antipsychotics Prescribed, Regardless of Age

Press Release

Boys are more likely than girls to receive an antipsychotic prescription regardless of age, according to a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry.

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A New Look at Racial/Ethnic Differences in Mental Health Service Use Among Adults

Science Update

New report on mental health service use among racial/ethnic groups

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New NIMH Strategic Plan Aims to Focus, Accelerate Mental Health Research

Press Release

New NIMH Strategic Plan balances the need for long-term investments in basic research with urgent mental health needs.

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Lisanby Chosen to Lead NIMH Division of Translational Research

Science Update

Dr. Sarah Hollingsworth Lisanby, one of the leading researchers in the area of neuromodulatory interventions for treating major depression, will join NIMH as the director of the Division of Translational Research.

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Medications for Patients with First Episode Psychosis May Not Meet Guidelines

Press Release

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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Soldiers at Increased Suicide Risk after Leaving Hospital

Press Release

Soldiers hospitalized with a psychiatric disorder have a higher suicide risk in the year following discharge from the hospital.

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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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NIMH Website Goes Mobile

Institute Update

An increasing number of U.S. adults connect to the web through smartphones or a tablets, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Internet Project. With NIMH’s new mobile-friendly website, visitors can access NIMH information and resources anywhere, anytime, and on any device—from desktop computers to tablets and mobile phones.

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NIMH Creates New Unit to Support Its Research Domain Criteria Initiative

Press Release

NIMH announces a new unit within the Office of the Director to support the development of the institute’s Research Domain Criteria initiative. The unit will enhance communication with scientists, clinicians, and the public to refine the RDoC research framework and accelerate the translation of basic research into clinical treatments.

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Rapid Agent Restores Pleasure-seeking Ahead of Other Antidepressant Action

Press Release

A drug being studied as a fast-acting mood-lifter restored pleasure-seeking behavior independent of – and ahead of – its other antidepressant effects.

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Increased Health Risks Linked to First-episode Psychosis

Press Release

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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New Report Provides National Clinical Data on the Prevalence of Many Specific Mental Disorders

Science Update

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released the findings of a new clinical study providing national data on the past-year prevalence of specific mental disorders in adults.

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How Might New Neurons Buffer Against Stress?

Science Update

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

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NIMH Director Honored by BBRF

Science Update

NIMH Director Honored by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

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

Science Update

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

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The 22nd NIMH Conference on Mental Health Services Research

Science Update

The 22nd National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Conference on Mental Health Services Research (MHSR): Research in Pursuit of a Learning Mental Health Care System, will be convened on April 23–25, 2014, at the Natcher Conference Center on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Campus, Bethesda, MD.

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NIH-funded Brain Atlas Offers Clues to Psychiatric Disorders

Press Release

A brain blueprint maps where genes are tuned on and off during mid-pregnancy—when most brain disorders such as autism and schizophrenia occur.

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NIMH Scientists Help Students Learn About the Brain at NMHM

Science Update

NIMH scientists presented hands-on demonstrations of neural electrical activity at the National Museum of Health and Medicine Brain Awareness Week program, March 12, 2014.

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Announcing New U.S. Disability Statistics on the NIMH Website

Science Update

NIMH announces updated World Health Organization estimates of the burden of disease in the United States.

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Students Unlock the Mysteries of the Brain with NIH Scientists

Press Release

As part of Brain Awareness Week 2014, scientists from seven NIH institutes will sponsor hands-on activities—aimed at helping students learn about the brain—at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, MD

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NIMH Twitter Chat on Eating Disorders

Science Update

NIMH Twitter Chat on Eating Disorders

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NICHD/NIMH Podcast on Youth Violence

Science Update

NIMH/NICHD experts explain what sparks and halts youth violence.

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Transgenic Mice Lines Aid in Brain Circuit Imaging

Science Update

Neuroscientists have generated over 250 genetically engineered mice lines that will help further our understanding of the human brain.

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NIMH Twitter Chat on Depression and Older Adults

Science Update

Join NIMH’s Jovier Evans, Ph.D., Chief of the Geriatric Translational Neuroscience Program, for a Twitter Chat on depression and older adults.

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NIH Directors Discuss Sequestration and Research on C-SPAN

Science Update

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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NeuroBioBank Gives Researchers One-stop Access to Post-mortem Brains

Press Release

The NIH NeuroBioBank provides researchers with one-stop access to post-mortem brains.

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NIMH Twitter Chat on Bullying Prevention

Science Update

NIH experts Drs. Chris Sarampote and Valerie Maholmes discuss bullying prevention.

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NIMH Scientists Honored with 2013 Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Awards

Science Update

Miss the Twitter chat on the teen brain and Brain Awareness Week? Read the transcript.

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Streamlined Method Offers Shortcut to Generating Neurons for Discovery

Science Update

Researchers have found a shortcut to rapidly convert induced human stem cells into healthy neurons for “disease-in-a-dish” discovery – and, ultimately, personalized medicine.

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Three NIH Scientists Elected into IOM

Science Update

NIMH’s Daniel S. Pine, M.D., is one of three NIH scientists elected as members of the prestigious Institute of Medicine.

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NIMH Grantee Receives 2013 Nobel Prize

Science Update

Thomas C. Südhof, M.D., along with James E. Rothman, Ph.D., and Randy W. Schekman, Ph.D., received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries delineating how a cell organizes its transport system.

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Former NIMH Grantee Receives 2013 MacArthur Fellow Award

Science Update

Susan Murphy, Ph.D., a statistician from the University of Michigan and former NIMH grantee, is one of 24 recipients of the MacArthur “Genius” Award.

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Jay Giedd on PBS Documentary “Brains on Trial”

Science Update

NIMH’s Jay Giedd discusses brain scan research with Alan Alda in the two-episode PBS documentary “Brains on Trial.”

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NIMH Grantees Receive 2013 Lasker Award

Science Update

Two National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) grantees recently collected the prestigious 2013 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for their meticulous mapping of the molecular mechanisms involved in neurotransmitter release, the process by which the brain send and receives chemical messengers.

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NIMH Twitter Chat on Suicide Prevention

Science Update

To commemorate World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, 2013, NIMH will host a twitter chat on the topic.

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Our New Search Engine Delivers Faster, Better Results

Science Update

Our New Search Engine Delivers Faster, Better Results

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Introduction to RDoC

Science Update

Bruce Cuthbert, Ph.D., director, NIMH Division of Translational Research and Treatment Development, discusses the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative, which he coordinates.

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Stray Prenatal Gene Network Suspected in Schizophrenia

Press Release

Researchers have reverse-engineered the outlines of a disrupted prenatal gene network in schizophrenia, by tracing spontaneous mutations to where and when they likely cause damage in the brain.

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Tom Insel Discusses The BRAIN Initiative on The Charlie Rose Brain Series

Science Update

With nearly 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion connections, the human brain remains one of the greatest mysteries in science and one of the greatest challenges in medicine. NIMH Director Thomas Insel recently went on The Charlie Rose Brain Series to discuss The BRAIN Initiative, which aims to create better tools to solve this mystery.

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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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NIMH Twitter Chat on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Science Update

Learn about post-traumatic stress disorder by joining NIMH’s Farris Tuma for a Twitter chat.

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Our New Look!

Science Update

See NIMH’s new website design.

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Twitter Chat on Borderline Personality Disorder

Science Update

NIMH teams up with Perry D. Hoffman from the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder for a chat about this topic.

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DSM-5 and RDoC: Shared Interests

Press Release

NIMH and APA have a shared interest in ensuring that patients and health providers have the best available tools and information today to identify and treat mental health issues, while we continue to invest in improving and advancing mental disorder diagnostics for the future.

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Twitter Chat on PANDAS/PANS

Science Update

NIMH experts discuss childhood rapid-onset OCD during our next Twitter chat on May 8, 2013.

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New NIH Funding for Two Autism Centers of Excellence

Press Release

The National Institutes of Health announced new funding for two Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE), bringing to eleven the number of ACE centers now being funded for up to five years.

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NIH Study Shows People with Serious Mental Illnesses Can Lose Weight

Press Release

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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Twitter Chat on The Teen Brain—NIMH Experts Discuss Brain Awareness Week

Science Update

Miss the Twitter chat on the teen brain and Brain Awareness Week? Read the transcript.

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Students Explore the Wonders of the Brain

Press Release

As part of the National Museum of Health and Medicine museum’s 14th annual Brain Awareness Week celebration, several hundred curious students from the Washington, D.C., area will have a chance to learn about what goes on inside the human brain, through a series of interactive exhibits led by scientists from eight institutes of the National Institutes of Health.

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

Press Release

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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Differences in On/Off Switches Help Explain How the Human Brain Evolved

Science Update

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.

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Science/AAAS Webinar on Translational Neuroscience Research Featuring NIMH’s Carlos A. Zarate, M.D.

Science Update

Want to know how the latest findings in neuroscience research go from bench to bedside? NIMH and Science/AAAS partnered to produce an informative webinar on translating neurobiological research into treatments.

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NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel Received AMA’s Top Government Service Award

Science Update

The American Medical Association feted Thomas Insel M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health, with its top government service award.

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HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the State of Mental Health Care in the United States

Science Update

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discusses state of U.S. mental health care, commemorates JFK’s speech on the topic 50 years ago.

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Brain Imaging Predicts Psychotherapy Success in Patients with Social Anxiety Disorder

Science Update

Brain imaging might soon predict which treatment options would work best for patients with social phobia.

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Leading Neurobiologist Appointed NIMH Scientific Director

Press Release

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

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In-sync Brain Waves Hold Memory of Objects Just Seen

Press Release

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.

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NIH Common Fund Announces Awards for Single Cell Analysis

Press Release

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.

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Former NIMH Grantee Wins Nobel Prize for Chemistry

Science Update

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.

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Brain Wiring a No-Brainer?

Press Release

Researcher Van Wedeen MD and colleagues report new evidence of the brain’s elegant simplicity March 30, 2012 in the journal Science. New high resolution scans reveal an astonishingly simple 3D grid structure.

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White House Names NIMH a “Champion of Change” for its Suicide Prevention Efforts

Science Update

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) was named by the White House as a “Champion of Change” on August 25, 2011, for its efforts in supporting research on suicide prevention.

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Recovery Funds Will Support Evaluation of Suicide Prevention Training

Press Release

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to provide grant support for the completion of a project under way to evaluate the effectiveness of a new training program for telephone crisis counselors at suicide hotline centers.

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Brain Awareness Week Teaches Kids How Their Brains Work

Press Release

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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NIMH Staff Honored for Work on Behalf of Returning Veterans

Science Update

Several NIMH staff members will be awarded the 2008 Hubert H. Humphrey Award for Service to America for their work in addressing the mental health needs of returning veterans.

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Three NIMH Grantees Receive White House Award

Science Update

Three NIMH grantees were among the 67 recipients of Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE) for 2007:

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New NIMH Strategic Plan Accelerates Mental Health Research

Science Update

Building on the recent rapid advances in understanding the science of brain and behavior, the new National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) strategic plan is designed to maintain momentum in research and transform the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders.

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New Therapies Show Promise for Vascular Depression; Heart, Metabolic, Risks of Some Antipsychotic Medications Flagged

Science Update

WASHINGTON, DC, May 7 — Researchers see new treatments on the horizon for a type of depression related to blood vessels that affects the elderly, and have discovered why some elderly people fail to respond to current medications. In other studies, scientists urge caution regarding use of antipsychotics (usually for schizophrenia or other psychosis) in this and other populations to minimize metabolic, heart, and stroke risks.

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Virtual Reality, Psychotherapy, Show Promise in Treating PTSD Symptoms; Civilian Access to Care Remains a Concern

Science Update

WASHINGTON, DC, May 7 — Early data from an NIMH-sponsored double-blind study of 24 war veterans shows a marked reduction in acoustic startle — the reflex response to sudden loud sounds — in those treated with virtual reality exposure therapy combined with either d-cycloserine, an antibiotic that has been shown to facilitate the extinction of fear memories; pill placebo; or the anti-anxiety medication alprazolam (Xanax).

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Imaging Identifies Brain Regions and Chemicals Underlying Mood Disorders; May Lead to Better Treatments

Science Update

WASHINGTON, DC, May 6 — Recently developed imaging techniques allow the mapping of the brain circuits and chemical systems believed responsible for a range of mood abnormalities including depression and bipolar disorder, and hold promise for improved treatments, scientists say.

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Clues to Role of Brain Development as Risk for Mental Disorders May Also Lead to Better Treatments

Science Update

WASHINGTON, DC, May 6 — Increasing evidence points to links between the timing and growth rates of specific brain areas in the young brain and the likelihood of developing a wide range of mental disorders later in life, say researchers convened by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a part of the National Institutes of Health. Included among these mental disorders are autism, anxiety, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, substance abuse, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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Studies Identify Subtle Genetic Changes’ Risk for Mental Disorders; May Lead to Targets for New, Better, Therapies

Science Update

WASHINGTON, DC, May 5 — Epigenetics — the examination of how environmental factors like diet, stress, and post-natal maternal behavior can change gene function without altering DNA sequence — plays a major role in depression and in the actions of antidepressant medications. New studies in the field are revealing new molecular targets for better therapies for depression, scientists say.

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Mark Your Calendars, NIMH Science Track at APA Annual Meeting, May 3-8, 2008

Science Update

What: National Institute of Mental Health science track symposia, lectures, press conferences at the American Psychiatric Association 161st Annual Meeting.

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Foreign Nativity May Not Always Protect Against Mental Disorders in the US

Science Update

Though all Latino immigrants tend to display better overall mental health compared to their US-born counterparts, a recent study by NIMH-funded researchers has found that the protective benefits of foreign nativity vary widely across subgroups of this population. Factors such as neighborhood stability, perceived discrimination, and the strength of family bonds all combine to influence the prevalence of mental disorders across distinctive Latino ethnic groups. The finding reflects varying immigration and acculturation processes experienced by Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans and other Latino groups. Results of the study were published in the July 2007 issue of Social Science and Medicine.

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