Editor’s Picks Blog: A Snapshot of Mental Health Research for the Month of June

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Editor's Picks Blog - June 2013 - Written by VP of Marketing and Communications, Laura C. Wells, M.B.A.
June 2013 - Editor's Picks Blog

From the editor’s desk, Laura C. Wells, Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the Foundation presents highlights from this month

They say April showers bring May flowers, but here in New York it's been more like May showers continuing into June showers leading to a fruitful and productive Spring overall...

Here is a sampling of a few of the things we’ve been talking about —

 


THE BIG PICTURE

  • President Obama kicked off the month in mental health by launching a national dialogue to tackle the persistent and pervasive societal challenges of mental illness. On June 4th, he hosted a “National Conference on Mental Health,” saying that:

"We all know somebody―a family member, a friend, a neighbor―who has struggled or will struggle with mental health issues at some point in their lives … We know that recovery is possible … and yet, … too many Americans who struggle with mental health illnesses are still suffering in silence rather than seeking help …”

  • Our President and CEO, Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein represented the Foundation at the White House. We are bolstered by this new, open dialogue to reduce stigma, increase access to care and accelerate brain and mental health research, all as a means of forging a sustainable path of recovery for mental illness. READ MORE

 

FROM OUR PUBLICATIONS

  • The Quarterly on Early Intervention was published this Spring – here are just a couple of highlights:
    • Dr. Judith Rapoport, Chief of the Child Psychiatry Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health and Foundation Scientific Council Member, shares promising insights and offers tips for parents READ MORE
    • Stamatia Pappas recounts her personal story of intervention with her son as he developed the behavioral symptoms of schizoaffective disorder. She says her family never lost hope and her son is now “well into recovery.” READ MORE

 

RESEARCH DISCOVERIES

  • New approaches and technologies were a driving force of discoveries in June. A few examples include:
    • Neurogenesis: A NARSAD Grantee in Stockholm, Sweden applied a very innovative approach to identify the “birth date” of neurons in adult human brains and demonstrated that more than one-third of neurons are regularly renewed throughout life. The research was conducted by a team at the Karolinska Institutet and was published June 6, 2013 in Cell. READ MORE
    • Personalized Medicine: Dr. Helen Mayberg of Emory University and three-time NARSAD Grantee identified specific patterns of brain activity with PET (positron emission tomography) scans that suggest how a depressed person will respond to treatment with medication or psychotherapy. The findings offer a first step towards personalized medicine treatment decisions for major depression and were published in JAMA Psychiatry online on June 12, 2013. READ MORE
    • New Treatment Targets: Thanks to a new precision in brain research offered by the groundbreaking technology “optogenetics,” two separate research teams―one at Columbia and one at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)―were able to identify new, more precise treatment targets for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that may also offer preventive possibilities. Both teams’ findings were published in papers in Science on June 7, 2013. READ MORE

And that’s a quick snapshot of the month! Please let us know what you think of this new initiative to revitalize our blog and to bring you a monthly overview of what we’re excited about …

Laura joined the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (then known as NARSAD) in January, 2010 and leads development of communication and promotional materials at the Foundation. This includes all printed publications, the website and eNews, promotional materials for events and various other means of communicating with the Foundation’s donor community and external constituents... READ MORE

Article comments

Thank you so much for the articulate overview of the latest news on mental health. It's a real service to have a place to go that summarizes the latest findings with succinct clarity. All best, Julia Dengel, LMSW

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Please note that researchers cannot give specific recommendations or advice about treatment; diagnosis and treatment are complex and highly individualized processes that require comprehensive face-to- face assessment. Please visit our "Ask an Expert" section to see a list of Q & A with NARSAD Grantees.
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