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There is good evidence from studies of families and twins that genetics plays an important role in the development of alcoholism. However, hundreds of genes likely are involved in this complex disorder, with each variant contributing only a very small effect. Thus, identifying individual risk genes is difficult.
Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia often run in families, but identifying specific genes that increase a person's risk for these complex disorders has proved difficult. Now scientists from the University of Iowa and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have discovered—by studying the genetics of two families severely affected by eating disorders—two gene mutations, one in each family, that are associated with increased risk of developing eating disorders.
Internationally recognized UI Health Care schizophrenia expert, Nancy Andreasen, MD, PhD, recently published important new findings in the American Journal of Psychiatry in an article titled Relapse duration, treatment intensity, and brain tissue loss in schizophrenia: a prospective longitudinal MRI study. This study confirmed serious implications for antipsychotic dosing in the treatment of schizophrenia, and also warns of potential repercussions of antipsychotic use in treatment of other psychiatric disorders.
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a slow-progressing neurological illness for which there is currently no treatment or cure. HD is one of few heritable diseases that inevitably follow a very basic, autosomal-dominant genetic pattern.
A University of Iowa study reveals significant disparities between minority and white clients in success rates for completing substance abuse treatment programs. Moreover, these disparities vary widely from state to state.
What started as an experiment to probe brain circuits involved in compulsive behavior has revealed a surprising connection with obesity. The University of Iowa-led researchers bred mice missing a gene known to cause obesity, and suspected to also be involved in compulsive behavior, with a genetic mouse model of compulsive grooming.
Since 1979, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has been providing leadership in advocacy and education on the subject of mental health in the effort to reduce barriers to treatment and services. In Johnson County (JC), the mainstay of NAMI’s fundraising is the three-mile annual NAMIWalk, which was held in Iowa City on April 27, 2013—the ninth annual walk for this county.
In 2010, almost 2 million American children had at least one parent in active military duty. A new University of Iowa study suggests that deployment of a parent puts these children at an increased risk for drinking alcohol and using drugs.
Mild traumatic brain injury, including concussion, is one of the most common types of neurological disorder, affecting approximately 1.3 million Americans annually. It has received more attention recently because of its frequency and impact among two groups of patients: professional athletes, especially football players; and soldiers returning from mid-east conflicts with blast-related traumatic brain injury.
When doctors at the University of Iowa prepared a patient to inhale a panic-inducing dose of carbon dioxide, she was fearless. But within seconds of breathing in the mixture, she cried for help, overwhelmed by the sensation that she was suffocating.