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New studies on cancer and schizophrenia, depression and heart disease, trauma and autism

The 2007 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Annual Meeting will feature hundreds of new studies on brain and behavior from the worlds leading scientists. Presentations include innovative research on potential new treatments for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism and addiction.


  • Study Finds Genetic Link between Cancer and Schizophrenia A series of studies elucidates evidence that there is a genetic link between schizophrenia and cancer, providing a surprising possible scientific explanation for lower rates of cancer among patients with schizophrenia despite having poor diets and high rates of smoking and their parents.
  • Research Finds Link between Depression and Heart Disease Depression nearly triples the risk of death following a heart attack, even when accounting for other heart attack risk factors, according to research which showed that among 360 depressed, post myocardial infarction patients followed for more than six years, those who did not recover from their depression in the first six months were more than twice as likely to die.
  • Study Shows Psychotherapy Helpful in Treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Early Stages When treated within a month, survivors of a psychologically traumatic event improved significantly with psychotherapy. Researchers studied 248 adults with early symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a traumatic event that had occurred no more than four weeks earlier.
  • New Studies Suggest Brain Overgrowth in One-Year-Olds Linked to Development of Autism Brain overgrowth in the latter part of an infants first year may contribute to the onset of autistic characteristics. These findings support concurrent research which has found brain overgrowth in autistic children as young as two years old.
  • Study Finds First-Ever Genetic Animal Model of Autism By introducing a gene mutation in mice, investigators have created what they believe to be the first accurate model of autism not associated with a broader neuropsychiatric syndrome. This animal model could help researchers better understand abnormal brain function in autistic humans, which could help them identify and improve treatment strategies.
  • Study Shows New Strategy for Developing Rapid-Acting Antidepressants Researchers may be able to develop an antidepressant which takes effect almost immediately by directly targeting novel molecules in the brain instead of taking a less direct route, which can lead to longer times for medication to take effect.
  • Study Finds Brain Differences in Adolescents with Mental Illness Puberty may have an impact on areas of the brain that contribute to bipolar disorder or schizophrenia in youth, according to new research. Investigators found size difference in the brains of youth with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, which could help identify different treatment approaches in boys and girls.
  • Nicotine Addiction Might be Controlled by Influencing Pleasurable Response Mechanisms in Brain There is a clear link between GABA a chemical substance of the central nervous system that inhibits neurons in the brain and nicotine dependence. Researchers discovered that nicotine has significant effects on brain GABA, a finding which could potentially help curb the pleasurable effects of nicotine and help people break their addiction to it.
  • Stable Sleep Patterns and Regular Routines May Improve Outcomes in Bipolar Disorder Bipolar disorder, commonly known as manic-depressive disorder, is highly influenced by the circadian system the bodys internal clock and a specific kind of psychotherapy may help decrease irregularities in the circadian system that can trigger key symptoms of bipolar disorder


Contact: Amy Levey
American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

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