Ask an Expert

Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D. - Brain and behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q. Is it possible to intervene early to curb severe mental illness later in life?
A. Indeed, we are now beginning to understand that people with neuropsychiatric... More >
Judith L. Rapoport, M.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q. What are the most promising areas of research today—and how close are we getting to prevention and cures?
A. Certainly, brain imaging and genetics have the greatest attention in clinical... More >
Patrick F. Sullivan, M.D., FRANZCP - Brain & behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q. My husband’s sister has schizophrenia and I’m afraid that if we have children they could be affected too. How high is the risk of this happening?
A. In general, large and carefully conducted studies tell us that the absolute risk is... More >
Jay N. Giedd, M.D. - brain & behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q. How common is relapse after stabilization in schizophrenia?
A. Jay N. Giedd, M.D. of the National Institute of Mental Health received the Ruane... More >
Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D., Columbia University Medical Center
Q. What is the benefit of early intervention in treating schizophrenia - and how is it possible?
A. “The ability to treat people who develop schizophrenia successfully, produce... More >
Schahram Akbarian, M.D., Ph.D. Scientific Council Member 1993, 2000 NARSAD Young Investigator Grantee 1997 Klerman Prizewinner Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Chief of the Division of Psychiatric Epigenomics Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Expert on mental illness
Q. If epigenetics is related to environmental influences triggering a susceptibility to mental illness—do you know particular ones leading to schizophrenia?
A. A number of environmental influences acting on the developing brain are suspected to... More >
Judith L. Rapoport, M.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q. Is there any way to prevent suspect genes from causing mental illness or to prevent the development of these 'copy-number variants' (CNVs) that have been linked to schizophrenia? Is that a current focus of research?
A. So far, there is no known way to stop copy number variants (CNVs) from forming. But... More >
Rachel G. Klein, Ph.D., Scientific Council Member, 1995 NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grantee, 2004 Ruane Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Research, Professsor of Psychiatry, New York University Child Study Center, Expert on Childhood mental illnesses including ADHD and anxiety
Q. In your time on the Scientific Council, what is the most promising area of brain and behavior research you’ve seen?
A. Two areas appear most promising. One is that great progress has been made in... More >
Kafui Dzirasa, M.D., Ph.D. - brain & behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q. What is the next big breakthrough in schizophrenia research?
A. Kafui Dzirasa, M.D., Ph.D., of Duke University Medical Center received the Sidney R... More >
Patrick F. Sullivan, M.D., FRANZCP - Brain & behavior research expert on suicide
Q. I think it’s wonderful that you got a consortium of scientists to work together to find answers on schizophrenia. What progress do you expect in the next five years?
A. In July 2014, the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium published a landmark paper that... More >
Husseini K. Manji, M.D.
Q. Can anti-seizure medications effectively treat bipolar II disorder?
A. It’s difficult to say without seeing the specific patient involved. As is the case... More >
Husseini K. Manji, M.D.
Q. What will the breakthroughs be in treatment for mood disorders in the next 5 years?
A. The world of neuroscience really is exploding, and I like to say that this is a... More >
Eric J. Nestler, M.D., Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q. Four generations of family, possibly five, have a history that includes severe mental illness. This is not a matter of nurture as we were all raised separately. How common is this? I have chosen to not have children due to this legacy.
A. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon, since all forms of severe mental illness are... More >
Boris Birmaher, M.D. - brain & behavior research expert on bipolar disorder
Q. Is Bipolar Disorder inheritable?
A. Boris Birmaher, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine received... More >
Andrew A. Nierenberg, M.D. - brain & behavior research expert on bipolar disorder
Q. Are there alternative treatments that might help people with mood disorders?
A. Andrew A. Nierenberg, M.D., of Harvard Medical School received the Colvin Prize for... More >
Robert C. Malenka, M.D., Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on bipolar disorder
Q. Our son lives with bipolar disorder and takes 1,000 mg of Depakote® daily. It doesn’t seem to be working; he remains unmotivated and very anxious. He feels no need to seek therapy do you have any advice on how to get someone to visit a therapist?
A. Helping a friend or loved one understand that they will benefit greatly from seeing... More >
Husseini K. Manji, M.D.
Q. Is Ketamine a possible treatment option for bipolar?
A. Ketamine is an experimental treatment for mental health conditions and is not... More >
Huda Akil, Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on depression
Q. In your work with the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Research Consortium, have you uncovered any new genes that you think might be related to mental illnesses besides major depression?
A. Yes, the Pritzker Consortium is interested in three severe psychiatric disorders—... More >
Husseini K. Manji, M.D.
Q. What advice do you offer for comorbidity (diagnosed with more than one mental illness)?
A. Many people have more than one official diagnosis in mental health, such as... More >
Eric J. Nestler, M.D., Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on depression
Q. What do you see on the horizon in the next few years as a breakthrough treatment for depression?
A. Several rapidly acting antidepressants are currently in clinical trial, such as... More >
Boris Birmaher, M.D. - brain & behavior research expert on bipolar disorder
Q. Is there a chance that I could pass Bipolar Disorder on to my child?
A. Boris Birmaher, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine received... More >
Boris Birmaher, M.D. - brain & behavior research expert on bipolar disorder
Q. Is there a test to diagnose Bipolar Disorder?
A. Boris Birmaher, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine received... More >
Rachel G. Klein, Ph.D., Scientific Council Member, 1995 NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grantee, 2004 Ruane Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Research, Professsor of Psychiatry, New York University Child Study Center, Expert on Childhood mental illnesses including ADHD and anxiety
Q. In your time on the Scientific Council, what is the most promising area of brain and behavior research you’ve seen?
A. Two areas appear most promising. One is that great progress has been made in... More >
Eric J. Nestler, M.D., Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on depression
Q. My father-in-law was treated with radiation for prostate cancer 2 years ago. Since then he seems depressed. He does not believe in therapy. What can we do? Do you think the depression could be caused by something related to his cancer treatment?
A. Depression is often seen in the context of many medical illnesses, including cancer... More >
Myrna Weissman, Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on depression
Q. How can I explain my depression to my third-grader? I don’t want to hurt his chances of having good mental health if he knows I’m struggling.
A. The evidence is quite strong that if you can keep yourself in remission, which may... More >

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