Research News

To ensure that we are providing the best and most current information to our members, NAMI monitors current research across the field of mental health. On this page, you can find up-to-date information from government organizations like the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), private institutions like the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, and academic and industry researchers.  

For more new stories from the National Institute of Mental Health, please visit their Science News website.

For more new stories from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, please visit their Newsletter website.

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Initial Study Shows Promise for Biomarker-Based PTSD Screening

Sep 25 2019
An accurate diagnosis is the first step to care and recovery. Diagnosing mental illness can be difficult, however, because symptoms are primarily self-reported. To provide clinicians with an objective screening tool for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), researchers from NYU, Harvard University and the US Army created a biomarker panel that was approximately 80% accurate in identifying PTSD in an initial study. Although the panel requires further testing in a larger population, it is a significant step forward for objective, reliable screening tools for mental health conditions. To learn more, please see the study in JAMA

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Risk of Schizophrenia Depends on Gene Expression Patterns More Than Individual Genes

Sep 23 2019
Genome-wide associate studies show that at least 143 chromosomal sites are involved in the development of schizophrenia. Individually, each site adds only a small fraction of risk — no single gene can explain why schizophrenia is highly inheritable. New research using advanced molecular modelling technology has shown that “expression regulators” can have a much larger impact. Working with specially lab-grown brain cells, researchers have shown that just four genes, when working in tandem, alter the expression of 1,261 others. Understanding this dynamic may help researchers identify which genes are most responsible for risk of schizophrenia. To learn more, please visit the NIMH website.

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Youth and Young Adults Increasingly Relying on Emergency Department for Psychiatric Care

Sep 06 2019
The number of Emergency Department (ED) visits for psychiatric concerns among people aged 6-24 increased by 28% between 2011 and 2015, according to the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Especially significant increases in psychiatric ED visits were seen among adolescents (aged 12-17) and Hispanic patients. This represents a growing need for mental health care and crisis management in ED settings, which are often poorly equipped for these situations — only 16% of patients in the study population were seen by a mental health professional. For more information, please visit the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

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