Importance A proportion of patients experience long-lasting symptoms following mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). The postconcussion syndrome (PCS), included in the DSM-IV , has been proposed to describe this condition. Because these symptoms are subjective and common to other conditions, there is controversy whether PCS deserves to be identified as a diagnostic syndrome

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The summer is far from over, but already we can say that this has been an exceptional season for research on mental illness. Three recent discoveries are worth noting. Gulsuner and colleagues just published a report on genes disrupted by de novo mutations in schizophrenia.

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The term “chronic benign pain” contains a contradiction in terms. If chronic pain is debilitating enough to compel patients to seek medical relief, then it is hardly benign. Chronic “idiopathic” pain is an equally problematic term

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The brain processes sensory information in neuronal networks that are shaped by experience, particularly during early life, to optimally represent the internal and external milieu. Recent surprising findings have revealed that antidepressant drugs reactivate a window of juvenile-like plasticity in the adult cortex. When antidepressant-induced plasticity was combined with appropriate rehabilitation, it brought about a functional recovery of abnormally wired neuronal networks.

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Importance Long-term longitudinal studies are needed to delineate the trajectory of depressive symptoms across adulthood and to individuate factors that may contribute to increases in depressive symptoms in older adulthood. Objectives To estimate the trajectory of depressive symptoms across the adult life span; to test whether this trajectory varies by demographic factors (sex, ethnicity, and educational level) and antidepressant medication use; and to test whether disease burden, functional limitations, and proximity to death explain the increase in depressive symptoms in old age. Design Longitudinal study

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Abstract: Objective: The increased risk for metabolic syndrome (MetS) in individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder has been documented. No study examined MetS in patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), despite the fact that a great proportion of them are treated with antipsychotic addition.

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Importance A major obstacle to the identification of the neurobiological correlates of schizophrenia is the substantial clinical heterogeneity present in this disorder. Dividing schizophrenia into “deficit” and “nondeficit” subtypes may reduce heterogeneity and facilitate identification of neurobiological markers of disease. Objective To determine whether patients with deficit schizophrenia differ from patients with nondeficit schizophrenia and healthy controls in neuroimaging-based measures of white matter tracts and gray matter morphology

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Director’s Blog As in past years, once again I venture to suggest a “top 10” list for NIMH based on the most notable discoveries and events of the past 12 months. This year several of the major breakthroughs were not funded by NIMH and not directly focused on mental disorders, but they suggested new vistas for biology that will almost certainly change the way we understand serious mental illness and neurodevelopmental disorders.

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