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News from 2003

Mental Illness Genetics Among Science’s Top “Breakthroughs“ for 2003
December 22, 2003 · Press Release · Research on the genetics of mental illness, most of it NIMH-funded and much of it in the Institute’s own laboratories, was named the #2 scientific "breakthrough of the year" by Science magazine in its December l9, 2003, issue.
Autism Summit Conference
November 14, 2003 · Press Release · A national conference focusing on the Federal government's role in biomedical autism research, early screening and diagnosis, and improving access to autism services will be held November 19-20, 2003, at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.
NIMH Leaders, Grantees Honored
October 31, 2003 · Press Release · National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D., was among 65 newly elected members of the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine (IOM), announced this week.
Mutant Gene Linked to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
October 23, 2003 · Press Release · Analysis of DNA samples from patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and related illnesses suggests that these neuropsychiatric disorders affecting mood and behavior are associated with an uncommon mutant, malfunctioning gene that leads to faulty transporter function and regulation.
New Program Will Pursue Schizophrenia Gene Leads
September 12, 2003 · Press Release · The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced a new program expanding genetics research on schizophrenia in its own Bethesda, Maryland, laboratories.
Creation of New Neurons Critical to Antidepressant Action in Mice
August 7, 2003 · Press Release · Blocking the formation of neurons in the hippocampus blocks the behavioral effects of antidepressants in mice, say researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
New Program Treats Rural Youth And Targets Barriers To Care
July 29, 2003 · Press Release · Adolescents and teens with emotional and behavioral problems will receive treatment as part of a new study in eight of the poorest Appalachian counties in Eastern Tennessee.
Gene More Than Doubles Risk Of Depression Following Life Stresses
July 17, 2003 · Press Release · Among people who suffered multiple stressful life events over 5 years, 43 percent with one version of a gene developed depression, compared to only 17 percent with another version of the gene, say researchers funded, in part, by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
Medication and Psychotherapy Treat Depression in Low-Income Minority Women
July 1, 2003 · Press Release · Treatment with medication or psychotherapy reduced depressive symptoms in women from minority populations, according to research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
NIMH Awards $22.6 Million for Center for Collaborative Research on Mental Disorders
July 1, 2003 · Press Release · Under a cooperative agreement, the Center will accelerate progress toward understanding genetic origins of mental disorders including autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression.
Brain Cells Seen Recycling Rapidly To Speed Communications
June 10, 2003 · Press Release · The tiny spheres inside brain cells that ferry chemical messengers into the synapse make their rounds much more expeditiously than once assumed, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded researchers have discovered.
Monkey's Memory Cells Caught in the Act of Learning
June 5, 2003 · Press Release · NIH-funded scientists have detected direct evidence of individual brain cells signaling the formation of new memories.
Lithium Shows Promise Against Alzheimer’s in Mouse Model
May 21, 2003 · Press Release · An enzyme crucial to formation of Alzheimer’s plaques and tangles may hold promise as a target for future medications, suggest studies in mice and cells.
NIH Awards Grants for Six New Autism Research Centers
May 13, 2003 · Press Release · The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded grants to support six new research centers of a major network focusing on the biomedical and behavioral aspects of autism.
Gene Enhances Prefrontal Function at a Price
May 7, 2003 · Press Release · Studies of a gene that affects how efficiently the brain’s frontal lobes process information are revealing some untidy consequences of a tiny variation in its molecular structure and how it may increase susceptibility to schizophrenia.
Study Boosts Confidence in Potential Screening Tool for Alzheimer's Disease
April 22, 2003 · Press Release · A major study has confirmed the value of potential markers for identifying people with Alzheimer's disease.
Genes, Brain and Behavior Symposium April 16
April 9, 2003 · Press Release · Prominent experts on genes, brain and behavior will discuss the impact of genomics on neuroscience in an all-day scientific symposium at the National Institutes of Health, April 16.
NIMH Launches First Public Health Education Campaign To Reach Men With Depression
April 1, 2003 · Press Release · The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), one of the National Institutes of Health, today announced the launch of the first national campaign to raise awareness that depression is a major public health problem affecting an estimated 6 million men annually.
Treatment for Minor Depression
March 21, 2003 · Press Release · In a new approach to research on minor depression, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched a four-year study to determine the safety and effectiveness of St. John’s wort, a common herbal supplement, and citalopram, a standard antidepressant, compared to placebo.
Telltale Protein Defects Mark Fragile X Pathways
February 12, 2003 · Press Release · A team of scientists led by National Institute of Mental Health Health (NIMH) grantees has identified a trove of proteins involved in synaptic plasticity and neuronal growth—some of them likely implicated in mental retardation and perhaps other neurodevelopmental disorders like autism.
Human Gene Affects Memory
January 23, 2003 · Press Release · NIH scientists have shown that a common gene variant influences memory for events in humans by altering a growth factor in the brain's memory hub.