The National Academy of Medicine today awarded Virginia Commonwealth University psychiatry professor Kenneth S. Kendler, M.D., with the Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health in recognition of his research on the role of genes and environment in the development of psychiatric and substance use disorders.
The award was presented to the director of the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics at the NAM’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Kendler shares the recognition with Kay Jamison, Ph.D., ... Continue Reading →
The National Institutes of Health awarded a $5 million grant to Virginia Commonwealth University to take part in a landmark study on substance use and adolescent brain development. NIH’s Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study is the largest longitudinal neuroimaging study of human brain development ever launched.
The five-year grant will fund research that aims to map the neuropsychological trajectories of the developing brain. The study holds the potential to expand on current understandings of both normal and atypical brain development across human ... Continue Reading →
Genes may contribute more to the development of insomnia symptoms in females than in males, according to a new study led by a Virginia Commonwealth University graduate student.
Drawing on pre-existing data from the Virginia Adult Twin Studies of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders (VATSPSUD), a large data set collected by VCU psychiatry professor Kenneth S. Kendler, M.D., Mackenzie Lind found evidence that the heritability of insomnia could be higher for females than it is for males, suggesting that genes influence ... Continue Reading →
For the first time in scientific history, researchers have identified specific genetic clues to the underlying etiology of clinical depression. The findings are the result of an international collaboration among researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Oxford and throughout China to localize risk genes for major depressive disorder.
While prior studies have failed to identify replicated evidence for molecular genetic markers that predispose to risk for the disease, the international research team, in which VCU’s Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral ... Continue Reading →
High intelligence could protect against the development of schizophrenia in people who have a genetic predisposition for the disease, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden. The findings contradict conventional wisdom that schizophrenia and brilliance are linked.
The research provides insight into how IQ and schizophrenia interact and suggest that intelligence is an important moderator in the development of the mental disorder.
“If you’re really smart, your genes for schizophrenia don’t have much of ... Continue Reading →
In one of the first projects to be funded under a partnership between the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Research Council of Norway, two Virginia Commonwealth University professors from the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics will work with researchers at the University of Oslo to study the genetic and environmental factors in normal and abnormal personality that increase the risk of developing substance use disorders. The four-year study will also link new and existing data from the Continue Reading →
An international team of researchers has identified more than 100 locations in the human genome associated with the risk of an individual developing schizophrenia, according to a study published online in the journal Nature this week.
The findings advance the knowledge of schizophrenia on the molecular level, and provide critical information about the biological pathways underlying the illness — which has been poorly understood until now.
By understanding the molecular and cellular pathways involved in schizophrenia, researchers may be able to develop ... Continue Reading →
If a sibling commits a violent criminal act, the risk that a younger sibling may follow in their footsteps is more likely than the transmission of that behavior to an older sibling, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden.
The findings provide insight into the social transmission of violent behaviors and suggest that environmental factors within families can be important when it comes to delinquent behavior. Down the road, the results may be ... Continue Reading →
Analysis of religiosity in childhood and adulthood suggests that individuals who change in religiosity over time are at greater risk of using psychoactive substances, including alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, according to a Virginia Commonwealth University study.
Religiosity is the relevance of religious belief to a person’s life – in other words, how religious or devout a person is. The study, which will be published in the March issue of the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence and currently available online, showed that ... Continue Reading →
A current Virginia Commonwealth University study hopes to begin unlocking the key to understanding anxiety and depressive syndromes – conditions that are known as internalizing disorders (IDs).
One in four people will suffer from an anxiety disorder in their lifetime, and between 15 and 20 percent of individuals will experience a depressive episode. Even with these high lifetime prevalence rates, very little is currently known regarding the genetic basis of IDs and how it relates to other internalizing risk factors.
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