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Study Aims to Develop First Medications for Fragile-X Syndrome, Leading Inherited Cause of Mental Retardation
December 20, 2007 • Science Update
A new NIMH grant is enabling scientists to begin testing safety and effectiveness of potential medications for fragile-X syndrome, the most common inherited form of mental retardation. No effective medications are available for the disorder. The animal studies currently underway are designed to lay the groundwork for the first human clinical trials in subsequent phases of the research.
IQ Boost From Breast Milk Linked to Gene-Environment Interaction
December 17, 2007 • Science Update
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. The NIMH funded research is among the first to provide evidence of a specific genetic-environment interaction involved in complex mental functioning.
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.
Behavioral Therapy Effectively Treats Children with Social Phobia
December 17, 2007 • Science Update
A behavioral therapy designed to treat children diagnosed with social phobia helped them overcome more of their symptoms than the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac).
Hurricane Katrina Survivors Lack Access to Mental Health Services
December 17, 2007 • Science Update
The majority of Hurricane Katrina survivors who developed mental disorders after the disaster are not receiving the mental health services they need, and many who were receiving mental health care prior to the hurricane were not able to continue with treatment.
Depression’s Flip Side Shares its Circuitry
December 14, 2007 • Science Update
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. Yet “a moderate optimistic illusion” appears to be essential for maintaining motivation and good mental health
Behavioral Program May Stabilize Stress Hormone Patterns in Foster Children
November 30, 2007 • Science Update
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.
Depression Linked to Bone-Thinning in Premenopausal Women
November 26, 2007 • Press Release
Premenopausal women with even mild depression have less bone mass than do their nondepressed peers, a study funded in part by NIMH.
Brain Matures a Few Years Late in ADHD, But Follows Normal Pattern
November 12, 2007 • Press Release
In youth with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the brain matures in a normal pattern but is delayed three years in some regions, on average, compared to youth without the disorder.
Researchers Suggest Updating Criteria for HIV-associated Neurocognitive Disorders
November 8, 2007 • Science Update
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.
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