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Psychiatric disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder, affect millions of people around the world. Without intervention, they can have devastating effects and interfere with daily life. Decades of research led to a variety of therapeutic options for people with psychiatric disorders, but how well they work varies greatly from person to person. Researchers in neuroscience and related disciplines are studying genes and brain areas affected by psychiatric disorders in animals and humans in an effort to develop better therapies alongside more traditional treatments. Recent studies are helping scientists identify factors that increase the risk of developing a psychiatric disorder, including a person’s genetic makeup and exposure to early life stress or brain trauma. Researchers are also finding structural differences in brains of people with some psychiatric disorders. Scientists hope this information will create new paths to treatments that offer faster relief with fewer side effects, and diagnostic tests that identify psychiatric disorders earlier.


Source: Dana Foundation
Scientists are finding evidence that neuroinflammation can alter mood and cognition, perhaps enough to help cause psychiatric disorders.
Source: Dana Foundation
A series of recent studies now offers preliminary evidence that depression may, indeed, alter aspects of perception.
Source: Dana Foundation
Tom Insel, M.D., National Institute of Mental Health, on an alternate way to look at mental disorders.

Psychiatric Disorders in the News

Source: LiveScience
Date: 4 Feb 2015
Many vastly different mental-health disorders, ranging from schizophrenia to depression, stem from the same brain regions, according to a new study.
Source: TIME
Date: 21 Oct 2014
Difficulty regulating serotonin may explain why some people suffer from season affective disorder (SAD), according to new research.
Source: NPR Shots Blog
Date: 20 Oct 2014

An intervention program draws on research suggesting that schizophrenia unfolds much more slowly than might be obvious, even to families.

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