News and Announcements

In April 2013, UCLA scientists led by Chancellor Gene Block were among the guests at President Obama’s announcement of the BRAIN Initiative. The program is aimed at discovering new ways to treat, cure and prevent traumatic brain injuries and brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy.

Today, two UCLA faculty members, Dr. X. William Yang, a professor of psychiatry, and Dr. Daniel Geschwind, a professor of psychiatry, neurology and genetics, were among more than 100 investigators who received funding through the National Institutes of Health’s first wave of investments in research supporting the initiative.

UCLA scientists hunt down origin of Huntington's disease in the brain
The gene mutation that causesHuntington's disease appears in every cell in the body, yet it kills only two types of brain cells. Why? UCLA scientists used a unique approach to switch the gene off in individual brain regions and zero in on those that play a role in causing the disease in mice.Published in the April 28 online edition of the journal Nature Medicine, the research sheds light on where Huntington's starts in the brain. It also suggests new targets and routes for therapeutic drugs to slow the devastating disease, which strikes an estimated 35,000 Americans.
Understanding the basic biology of bipolar disorder
Scientists from UCLA, UC San Francisco, Costa Rica and Colombia take steps to identify genetic component to mental illness  Mark Wheeler, mwheeler@mednet.ucla.edu 310-794-2265           Scientists know there is a strong genetic component to bipolar disorder, but they have had an extremely difficult time identifying the genes that cause it. So, in an effort to better understand the illness's genetic causes, researchers at UCLA tried a new approach. 
2014 Award for Research in Mood Disorders
Congratulations to Dr. Lori Altshuler, director of the UCLA Mood Disorders Research Program, for earning the 2014 Award for Research in Mood Disorders from the American College of Psychiatrists.
Kids whose bond with mother was disrupted early in life show changes in brain
Mark Wheeler, mwheeler@mednet.ucla.edu310-794-2265 Children who experience profound neglect have been found to be more prone to a behavior known as "indiscriminate friendliness," characterized by an inappropriate willingness to approach adults, including strangers.   UCLA researchers are now reporting some of the first evidence from human studies suggesting that this behavior is rooted in brain adaptations associated with early-life experiences. The findings appear in the Dec. 1 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Biological Psychiatry.  
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