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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

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Genetic Epidemiology Research Branch Genetic Epidemiology Research Branch (GEB-SDGE)

Research Interests

Mood and anxiety disorders that GEB researches include

  • Major depression 
  • Bipolar disorder (manic depression) 
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) 
  • Social anxiety disorder/social phobia 
  • Panic disorder 
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 

The major research goals of GEB are

  • To conduct studies of families to identify aspects of mental disorders that are inherited; 
  • To determine the reasons why mood and anxiety disorders may exist in association with other mental disorders (e.g., alcoholism, substance abuse) and medical disorders (migraine); 
  • To identify the early expression of mental disorders in the population by following children of parents with these disorders, paying close attention to gender differences; 
  • To conduct pilot studies of programs aimed at preventing mood and anxiety disorders in youth; 
  • To develop and apply study designs and statistical methods to identify how an interaction of genes and the environment contribute to mental disorders. Studies include half-siblings, step-siblings, children of twins, and migrant studies (i.e., people who have moved from one geographic area to another).