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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 12/17/01
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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Mental Illness Focus of New Research Program

Cincinnati--One in four Americans will suffer from a serious mental health disorder in their lifetime, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The high prevalence rate of mental illness has led the University of Cincinnati Department of Psychiatry to create a new research program called The Cincinnati Neuroscience (CNS) Group.

The mission of the CNS Group is to conduct research contributing to scientific advances in the understanding and treatment of mental illness.

"Clinical treatment trials are crucial to improving the treatment of medical and mental illnesses," said Paul Keck, MD, professor and vice chair for research. "The CNS Group is adding to one of the leading research departments of psychiatry in the country."

The CNS Group consists of two closely related research programs, the Biological Psychiatry Program and the Women's Health Research Program.

The Biological Psychiatry Program conducts research regarding the biological causes and treatments for mood (bipolar and major depressive disorders), psychotic (schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder), eating (obesity, binge eating, bulimia nervosa) and impulse control disorders (pathological gambling, intermittent explosive disorder).

The program is a site of the Stanley Foundation Bipolar Network, the largest and most comprehensive research program dedicated to the development of new medications for people with bipolar disorder. It is comprised of a group of internationally renown researchers who are investigating the long-term course of biploar disorder to develop better treatment strategies for managing the illness. The UC site is one of just five research field centers throughout the world.

The Women's Health Research Program is dedicated to improving theunderstanding and treatment of health problems that are of particular concern to womensuch as postpartum mood disorders, fibromyalgia and depression. The program is also researching sexual dysfunction, premenstrual and menopausal depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome and migraine headaches.

"There are many advantages to participating in one of these clinical trials," Keck said. "Participants have the chance to receive an evaluation by multiple medical practitioners who are experts in their fields. They get free study-related medications, visits or tests and follow up treatment. In addition, they have the knowledge that they are advancing scientific knowledge about medical treatment."

Investigators conducting the clinical trials are Keck; Susan McElroy, MD professor of psychiatry; Lesley Arnold, MD, associate professor of psychiatry and director of the Women's Health Research Program; Erik Nelson, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry and Shishuka Malhotra, MD.

For more information about the CNS Group and the current clinical trials being conducted, please call 558-UCNS.

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