July 9, 2013


Bipolar disorder gene research raises new areas for study

Genetics may not be the most important element in understanding the origins and treatment of mental illness, but together with environmental influences, it plays a major and growing role. Melvin McInnis, M.D., an associate director of the Depression Center and principal investigator of the Prechter Bipolar Research Fund Projects, recently spoke with Psychiatric News about some fascinating new avenues in bipolar disorder research. Read more...

Prominent psychologist’s work driven by personal experience

Kay Redfield Jamison at home with her husband,
Thomas Traill

Baltimore magazine recently profiled Kay Redfield Jamison, a world-renowned expert on mood disorders and a member of the Depression Center’s National Advisory Board, whose own story of grappling with bipolar disorder has resonated with millions of others living with the illness. Read more...

Setting realistic expectations for recovery

For those managing depression or bipolar disorder, establishing a grounded yet optimistic outlook on the recovery process is an important component of any treatment strategy.  While your treatment plan and self-care techniques will help you manage your symptoms, over time you will likely be tested by situations that can hamper your progress. This is why setting realistic expectations about yourself and others, learning to anticipate challenges, and knowing how to respond to them are all valuable skills. Read more...

Developing a dementia tool for caregivers  

Aside from memory loss and cognitive impairments, often the most difficult aspect of caring for people with dementia is treating their disruptive changes in behavior. A $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will allow researchers from U-M and Johns Hopkins University to develop a Web-based dementia treatment tool for family caregivers. WeCare will help caregivers better understand, assess and treat behavioral changes in those with dementia. Depression Center member Helen Kales, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry at the U-M Medical School and a VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System researcher, will develop WeCare during the next three and half years with U-M and JHU collaborators. Read more...

Fathers, familiarity, and bonding

Women have a distinct biological advantage over men when it comes to bonding with their children; pregnancy and breastfeeding, for example, influence hormone levels in ways that help prime mothers for nurturing. But evidence shows that men, simply by spending more time with their kids, may realize similar hormonal responses and other neurological changes that promote strong parent-child relationships. Depression Center member James Swain, M.D., Ph.D, discussed what his analysis of the brain activity patterns of mothers and fathers reveals about the effects of parenting in this article on NBCNews.com.

Watch discussion with author Andrew Solomon online

Andrew Solomon, the National Book Award-winning author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, visited Ann Arbor in April to discuss his most recent book, Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, at a Depression Center fundraising event. After the event, Solomon, a member of the Depression Center’s National Advisory Board, was honored with the Mike Wallace Award, which recognizes an outstanding individual who has personally and publicly demonstrated exceptional commitment, courage, support, and leadership in a manner that is consistent with the Depression Center’s mission to conquer depression, bipolar illness and related illnesses.

View highlights of the Far from the Tree event, including Solomon’s book talk and a special Q&A with the author.

New initiative focuses teen and young adult mental health

The newly formed Healthy Minds Network for Research on Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health(HMN) is dedicated to improving the mental and emotional well-being of young people through innovative, multidisciplinary scholarship. Based at U-M, many HMN scholars are affiliated with the Depression Center. HMN addresses the connection between the mental health of adolescents and young adults and their health behaviors, physical health, and social, educational, and economic outcomes by focusing on producing knowledge (research), distributing knowledge (dissemination), and building and strengthening an international research-to-practice network (collaboration). Read more...

Anxiety more common than depression in cancer survivors, spouses

Anxiety, rather than depression, is more likely to be a problem in long-term cancer survivors and spouses, but there was no significant difference between survivors and spouses in the prevalence of anxiety and depression, according to a meta-analysis recently published in The Lancet-Oncology.  A Psychiatric News Alert describing these findings quoted Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S., an associate director of the Depression Center and director of the PsychOncology Program at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.  Read more...



It’s not what you say but how you say it!

Bipolar disorder is a dynamic illness - the activities, expressions (facial and gestures) and speech characteristics change in accordance with the mood state of the individual. Family members can often detect the subtle voice changes that can signal an imminent mood episode in their loved ones. The Prechter Bipolar investigative team is asking: by using a computer to analyze an individual’s speech patterns, can we also predict an impending episode or significant mood change, and, even more importantly, could we make such predictions early enough to intervene and prevent the episode in the first place? Read more...



July 10: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

July 13: Military Family Support Forum

July 24: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

Aug. 7: Family Education Workshop

Aug 14: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

Aug. 28: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups



Maria Muzik, M.D., received the Marian I. Butterfield, M.D. Early Career Psychiatrist Award for 2013 from the Association of Women Psychiatrists. This award recognizes women psychiatrists who have established significant professional careers early in their professional development.

Bruno Giordani, Ph.D., received the 2013 Distinguished Faculty Governance Award from the U-M Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs.

We welcome suggestions about the content and format of this publication – please email lhutchen@umich.edu with your feedback.




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