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Cortney Mears

Cortney Mears

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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most widely diagnosed disorders: an estimated 8% to 12% of children are affected worldwide. Although many studies about treatment options have been published, the genetic components that underlie the disorder are still being discovered. A special issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, highlights recent research and includes results from the first genome-wide study of patients with ADHD. Genome-wide studies have successfully identified variants associated with obesity and such diseases as age-related macular degeneration, diabetes, and prostate cancer.

Women with bulimia nervosa (BN) respond more impulsively during psychological testing than do women without eating disorders, according to a recent article in Archives of General Psychiatry.1 Functional MRI showed differences in brain areas responsible for regulating behavior in women with and without BN.

Just the sight of someone smoking may be enough to trigger the desire to start smoking again among those who have kicked the habit.
Researchers from Duke University Medical Center have been trying to determine what changes in the brain lead to the desire to start smoking again. They used functional MRI to visualize changes in brain activity of persons who were trying to quit.1 Eighteen adult smokers were scanned once before quitting and 24 hours after quitting. Participants were shown photographs of people smoking during the scanning.

A combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and antidepressants to treat anxiety disorders in youngsters has yielded positive results in a government-funded study that was published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.1

Imagine seeing a patient in your office and being able to test for dozens or even hundreds of diseases with just the swipe of a card that contains microscopic samples of the patient’s blood, saliva, or urine. This technology may not be far off.

Persons who live in rural areas in this country often lack access to adequate mental health care. Psychiatrists from Michigan State University (MSU) are tackling their state’s lack of resources by providing counseling via videoconference for patients with psychiatric disorders who live in remote areas.

What role should long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (LTPP) play in the treatment of patients with mental illness, particularly those with complex mental disorders?

Recent headlines point to research that suggests atypical antipsychotics are no more effective than their older counterparts in the treatment of children and adolescents with schizophrenia and psychosis.

Pharmaceutical giants Eli Lilly and Merck recently announced that beginning in 2009 they will publicly disclose information about payments made to doctors.

A discovery about the brain protein KIBRA, commonly found in the kidneys and brain, could lead to future treatments for Alzheimer disease (AD). Investigators at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), lead by Corneveaux and Liang, in Phoenix found that the risk for AD is 25% lower in persons who carry the memory-enhancing KIBRA gene.1 This fi nding indicates that there might be a link between KIBRA and some of the proteins with which it interacts.

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