New Approach

mental health

Dmitry Kirsanov/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

A New Approach to Mental Health

The founders of the Mind First Foundation believe that mental traits are highly complex and depend on both biology and environment. They have pioneered a revolutionary research model with greater promise to discover the underlying causes of mental illnesses and serious dysfunction, and ultimately to develop more successful treatments.

Major mental disorders traditionally thought to be distinct share certain genetic glitches and this may point to better ways to diagnose and treat these conditions. Scientists have long recognized that many psychiatric disorders tend to run in families, suggesting potential genetic roots. Such disorders include autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia.

Symptoms can overlap between these conditions and so distinguishing among these psychiatric syndromes can be difficult. Shared symptoms may also suggest they may also share similarities at the biological level.

In fact, recent studies have turned up limited evidence of shared genetic risk factors, such as for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, autism and schizophrenia, and depression and bipolar disorder.

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