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Science News about Schizophrenia

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Study launched to test possible preventive treatment for schizophrenia in high risk youth
May 1, 2008 • Science Update
NIMH recently awarded a grant to study whether an intensive, computerized training program can help prevent youth at high risk for developing schizophrenia from having a first psychotic episode and improve adaptive functioning.
Rates of Rare Mutations Soar Three to Four Times Higher in Schizophrenia
March 27, 2008 • Press Release
People with schizophrenia have high rates of rare genetic deletions and duplications that likely disrupt the developing brain, according to studies funded in part by the National Institutes of Health.
Scans Reveal Faulty Brain Wiring Caused by Missing Genes
February 20, 2008 • Science Update
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?
February 14, 2008 • Science Update
Even when serotonin levels stayed low, scientists were able to correct abnormal, mental-illness-like behaviors in mice by blocking an enzyme called GSK3ß. The finding adds evidence that molecular targets other than serotonin may lead to better and faster medications for some mental illnesses.
Scientists Can Predict Psychotic Illness in up to 80 Percent of High-Risk Youth
January 7, 2008 • Press Release
Youth who are going to develop psychosis can be identified before their illness becomes full-blown 35 percent of the time if they meet widely accepted criteria for risk, but that figure rises to 65 to 80 percent if they have certain combinations of risk factors, the largest study of its kind has shown.
Real-World Outcomes in Schizophrenia Are Focus of Two New NIMH Grants
January 4, 2008 • Science Update
Two new NIMH grants are aimed at determining the most accurate methods of measuring how well community-dwelling people with schizophrenia are faring. Results of the project are meant to provide scientists who conduct future research on the effectiveness of treatments with tools that reflect the truest possible picture of daily-life outcomes.
Ethnicity Predicts How Gene Variations Affect Response to Schizophrenia Medications
January 2, 2008 • Science Update
Different variations in the same gene influence how well different ethnic groups, and people within the same ethnic group, respond to various antipsychotic medications, report NIMH-funded researchers. If confirmed, their findings could one day help clinicians predict which medication is most likely to help a patient, based on his or her genetic makeup.
Schizophrenia-Related Gene Linked to Imbalance in Dopamine Pathways
December 17, 2007 • Science Update
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. The findings could help explain how this key chemical messenger goes awry in the disorder, which affects about one percent of adults.
How Schizophrenia Develops: Major Clues Discovered
October 17, 2007 • Press Release
Schizophrenia may occur, in part, because of a problem in an intermittent on/off switch for a gene involved in making a key chemical messenger in the brain, scientists have found in a study of human brain tissue.
Suspect Schizophrenia Genes Act Together to Thwart Working Memory
August 28, 2007 • Science Update
Two gene variants implicated in schizophrenia interact to degrade the brain's ability to process information, NIMH researchers have discovered. The interaction impaired working memory — retaining information from moment to moment. Such thinking problems are a hallmark of this severe mental illness that affects about one percent of the population.
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