Genomic Psychiatry Cohort Comes To Roosevelt Island

At CBN/RI Senior Center, Researchers Want Your Help for Curing Mental Illness

Updated 18 weeks ago
At CBN/RI Senior Center, Researchers Want Your Help for Curing Mental Illness

In the 1990s, there were high hopes that researchers would quickly discover genes associated with various mental health conditions and start engineering solutions. Experience taught that it's much harder than everyone thought. That's where you come in.

"It turns out the genetic landscape of psychiatric disorders is incredibly complex," says Joshua Gordon, Director of the National Institutes of Mental Health. "Instead of specific genes for each of the various psychiatric conditions (a “bipolar gene,” for example), we have strong statistical signals for hundreds of loci (locations) in specific regions of the genome that are associated with the risk of developing disorders."

Meeting the challenge of identifying the intricate interaction of genes associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, a "genomic psychiatry cohort," a study requiring the gathering of as much longitudinal data from as many sources as possible, has been established at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.

The Carter Burden Network agreed to host a piece of the study in which participants will be "compensated for your time and effort."

At CBN/RI Senior Center, Researchers Want Your Help for Curing Mental Illness

Looking At Both Sides

"Research has shown that genes can make some people more likely than others to develop schizophrenia or bipolar disorder," the study's leaders say. "The goal of our study is to identify these genes."

They've divided volunteers into two groups - each must be 18 or older - one where participants already have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder and another with no personal or family history of any of these diseases.

Participants will...

  • Complete a screening questionnaire on personal and family history
  • Those with a diagnosis will be interviewed about their symptoms
  • Give a sample, usually a simple mouth swab
  • Be compensated for their time and effort

Drop by the CBN/RI Senior Center on July 16th or 18th to meet the clinicians conducting the study.

To learn more about the Genomic Research Cohort, email InstituteforGenomicHealth@downstate.edu or give them a call: 1-718-270-8254. All calls are confidential.

This research is partially funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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