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Vitamin D Deficiency Raises Risk of Schizophrenia Diagnosis

Vitamin D-deficient individuals are twice as likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia as people who have sufficient levels of the vitamin, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

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Mount Sinai Scientists and International Team Shed New Light on Schizophrenia in Largest Genomic Study Published to Date

As part of a multinational, collaborative effort, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have helped identify over 100 locations in the human genome associated with the risk of developing schizophrenia, in the largest genomic study published on any psychiatric disorder to date, conducted with 80,000 people. The findings, published online in Nature, point to biological mechanisms and pathways that may underlie schizophrenia, and could lead to new approaches to treating the disorder, which has seen little innovation in drug development in more than 60 years.

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International Team Sheds New Light on Biology Underlying Schizophrenia

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As part of a multinational, collaborative effort, researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and scores of other institutions from all over the world have helped identify over 100 locations in the human genome associated with the risk of developing schizophrenia, in what is the largest genomic study published on any psychiatric disorder to date.

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Performance Improvement Program Helps Doctors Better Manage Depression, Reports Journal of Psychiatric Practice

A performance improvement initiative for physicians can significantly increase their use of evidence-based practices in screening for and treating depression, in the July Journal of Psychiatric Practice. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

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Smoking May Contribute to Suicide Risk

Cigarette smokers are more likely to commit suicide than people who don’t smoke, a relationship that has been attributed to the fact that numerous people with psychiatric disorders, who have higher suicide rates, also tend to smoke. But a new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis finds that smoking itself may increase suicide risk and that policies to limit smoking reduce suicide rates.

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Brain Responses to Emotional Images Predict PTSD Symptoms After Boston Marathon Bombing

By using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans from before the attack and survey data from after, the researchers found that heightened amygdala reaction to negative emotional stimuli was a risk factor for later developing symptoms of PTSD.

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Beneath the Surface: What Zebrafish Can Tell Us About Anxiety

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Ithaca College professor Iann Woods researches how genetics influence responses to stimuli that can trigger anxiety, and he’s using zebrafish — a tropical member of the minnow family named for the black stripes on their bodies — to do so. He and his team of student researchers examine how fish with tweaked genes respond to different triggers compared to unmodified fish. The work could someday lead to better, more nuanced medications for anxiety disorders.

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Depressed Men with Prostate Cancer are Diagnosed with Later Stage Disease, Get Less Effective Therapies and Don’t Live as Long as Men who are not Depressed

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Depressed men with localized prostate cancer were more likely to be diagnosed with more aggressive prostate cancer, received less effective treatments and survived for shorter times than prostate cancer patients who were not depressed, a UCLA study has found.

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Working to Loosen the Grip of Severe Mental Illness

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In newly published research in the journal Neuron, Michael Cole of Rutgers has determined that the underlying brain architecture of a person at rest is basically the same as that of a person performing a variety of tasks. This is important to the study of mental illness, says Cole, because it is easier to analyze a brain at rest.

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Kansas Adults with Mental Illness Twice as Likely to Use Tobacco

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Kansas adults with mental illness are twice as likely to use tobacco as adults without mental illness, according to a new report by RTI International and funded by the Kansas Health Foundation.

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