psychiatric disorders

Largest study of its kind reveals that many psychiatric disorders arise from common genes

Many distinct psychiatric diseases share a common genetic structure, according to new research by scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, an international team of investigators. Psychiatric disorders affect more than 25 percent of the population in a given year. In the largest-ever study of its kind, published in the journal Cell, researchers identified more than 100 genetic variants that affect the risk for more than one mental health condition. A gene…

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Thyroid screening may not be needed in all youth with psychiatric disorders

A new study from researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children’s looks at the prevalence of abnormal thyroid function in youth with severe mood and anxiety disorder. It is the largest study to date of this population and will help mental health professionals better understand the predictors of abnormal thyroid function, like weight gain, family history or treatment with certain medications. “I was interested in devising this study because I wanted to…

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Child’s elevated mental ill-health risk if mother treated for infection during pregnancy

Risks for autism and depression are higher if one’s mother was in hospital with an infection during pregnancy. This is shown by a major Swedish observational study of nearly 1.8 million children. “The results indicate that safeguarding against and preventing infection during pregnancy as far as possible by, for instance, following flu vaccination recommendations, may be called for,” says Verena Sengpiel, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, and last…

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New hope for patients with depression and anxiety

There is a strong link between depression and anxiety disorders and autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT), a chronic thyroid condition affecting approximately 10 percent of the population. Scientists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now proven that special treatment could help many sufferers, especially women. Depression and anxiety are among the most common psychiatric disorders across the globe. In 2016 more than 260,000 patients were admitted to hospital for treatment in Germany alone, according to statistics from the…

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CMU and Pitt brain imaging science identifies individuals with suicidal thoughts

Researchers led by Carnegie Mellon University’s Marcel Just and the University of Pittsburgh’s David Brent have developed an innovative and promising approach to identify suicidal individuals by analyzing the alterations in how their brains represent certain concepts, such as death, cruelty and trouble. Suicidal risk is notoriously difficult to assess and predict, and suicide is the second-leading cause of death among young adults in the United States. Published in Nature Human Behaviour, the study offers a…

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Increased brain acidity in psychiatric disorders

Your body’s acid/alkaline homeostasis, or maintenance of an adequate pH balance in tissues and organs, is important for good health. An imbalance in pH, particularly a shift toward acidity, is associated with various clinical conditions, such as a decreased cardiovascular output, respiratory distress, and renal failure. But is pH also associated with psychiatric disorders? Researchers at the Institute for Comprehensive Medical Science at Fujita Health University in Japan, along with colleagues from eight other institutions,…

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Neurons’ faulty wiring leads to serotonin imbalance, depression-like behavior in mice

Columbia scientists have identified a gene that allows neurons that release serotonin — a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and emotions — to evenly spread their branches throughout the brain. Without this gene, these neuronal branches become entangled, leading to haphazard distribution of serotonin, and signs of depression in mice. These observations shed light on how precise neuronal wiring is critical to overall brain health, while also revealing a promising new area of focus for studying…

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Personality traits, psychiatric disorders linked to specific genomic locations

A meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) has identified six loci or regions of the human genome that are significantly linked to personality traits, report researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine in this week’s advance online publication of Nature Genetics. The findings also show correlations with psychiatric disorders. “Although personality traits are heritable, it has been difficult to characterize genetic variants associated with personality until recent, large-scale GWAS,” said senior author Chi-Hua…

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Scientists discover molecular link between psychiatric disorders and type 2 diabetes

There may be a genetic connection between some mental health disorders and type 2 diabetes. In a new report appearing in the February 2016 issue of The FASEB Journal, scientists show that a gene called “DISC1,” which is believed to play a role in mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and some forms of depression, influences the function of pancreatic beta cells which produce insulin to maintain normal blood glucose levels. “Studies exploring the…

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Long-term study links common psychiatric disorders with increased risk of violent reoffending in ex-prisoners

Ex-prisoners with common psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder) and alcohol and drug abuse are substantially more likely to commit a violent crime after release than other prisoners, according to new research published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal. The study of almost 48000 ex-prisoners suggests that diagnosed psychiatric disorders are potentially responsible for up to a fifth of violent reoffending by former male prisoners and two-fifths by female ex-prisoners. “One in seven prisoners have a…

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