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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

News releases

August 2016arrow

MIND Institute-INALLIANCE partnership a recipe for success

August 1, 2016

UC Davis MIND Institute has partnered with INALLIANCE, a local non-profit, to provide vocational training for people with developmental disabilities in the institute’s café on 50th Street.

July 2016arrow

2016-2017 MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series starts Sept. 14

July 27, 2016

The UC Davis MIND Institute kicks off its 2016-2017 Distinguished Lecturer Series in September with an address by Robert H. Ring, associate professor at Drexel University in the College of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Physiology.

MIND Institute partners with INALLIANCE

July 22, 2016

As the espresso machine whirs and customers browse the day’s pastries at the UC Davis MIND Institute Café, Igor Zelenov is beaming with pride as he practices his new skills.

UC Davis researchers temporarily turn off brain area to better understand function

July 20, 2016

Capitalizing on experimental genetic techniques, researchers at UC Davis’ California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) have demonstrated that temporarily turning off an area of the brain changes patterns of activity across much of the remaining brain.

High quality MRIs without sedation are possible in severely affected children with autism

July 19, 2016

UC Davis researchers have found a way to get MRI images of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability without sedating them first using the principles of applied behavior analysis.

MIND Institute awarded key federal training grant

July 18, 2016

Adding to its growing portfolio of important federal grants to address the needs of people with developmental disabilities, the UC Davis MIND Institute, in collaboration with California State University Sacramento, has been awarded $2.7 million, to be spent over five years, to train professionals and family members who care for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

June 2016arrow

"Digital neurotherapeutic" in development at the UC Davis MIND Institute

June 22, 2016

A UC Davis researcher has created a video game for children who experience cognitive impairments from genetic disorders with the hope that that it will improve their ability to mentally process information about space and time.

MIND Institute researcher studies feasibility of community providers training parents of children with autism

June 22, 2016

Research has long shown that parent-implemented “naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions,” which are applied in a child’s usual setting and designed to build developmentally appropriate skills, help decrease the main symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, parent training by community providers had not previously been studied.

Mothers with diabetes, other metabolic conditions, more likely to also have anti-fetal brain autoantibodies

June 17, 2016

Mothers of children with autism who were diagnosed with metabolic conditions during pregnancy, particularly gestational and type 2 diabetes, were more likely to have anti-fetal brain autoantibodies in their blood compared to healthy women of children with autism. The presence of these anti-fetal brain autoantibodies has been previously found to be specific to some mothers of children with autism and rare among mothers of children without autism, researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute have found.

May 2016arrow

Yellowlees voted president-elect of national telemedicine group

May 24, 2016

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has chosen Peter Yellowlees, professor of psychiatry at UC Davis, to be president-elect of the association’s board of directors. 

More research needed to identify and measure quality of autism interventions

May 10, 2016

With the dramatic rise of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the numbers and types of interventions promoted to families and individuals with autism have surged as well.

Autism and cancer share a remarkable number of risk genes in common

May 3, 2016

Autism and cancer share more than 40 risk genes, suggesting that common mechanisms underlying the functions of some of these genes could conceivably be leveraged to develop therapies not just for cancer but for autism as well, an extensive assessment by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute and Comprehensive Cancer Center has found.

April 2016arrow

Distance language intervention helps adolescents with disabilities communicate

April 27, 2016

Sean Sawicki, who has fragile X syndrome, can be hard to understand and doesn’t always have the attention span to carry on a sustained conversation. But a novel intervention developed by UC Davis MIND Institute researchers seems to be making a difference.

Weighing the pros and cons of mental-health apps

April 26, 2016

“There’s an app for that.” The phrase is so ubiquitous it’s a meme, and trademarked by Apple Inc.

Behavioral Health Center of Excellence holds seminar on Firearm Violence and Mental Illness

April 7, 2016

Each year in the United States, firearm violence results in approximately 30,000 deaths and 75,000 nonfatal injuries to patients seen in hospital emergency rooms. Garen Wintemute, internationally renowned director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis Health System, will discuss “Firearm Violence and Mental Illness.”

UC Davis Health System NIA-funded research centers discuss diversity, disparities and cognitive aging

April 5, 2016

The National Institute on Aging (NIA)-funded UC Davis Latino Aging Research Resource Center (LARRC) and Alzheimer’s Disease Center hosted an all-day conference on March 16, 2016 on “Cognitive Aging and Diversity: Progress and Future Challenges." The conference highlighted NIA-funded research in Northern California associated with UC Davis and UC San Francisco, and brought together leading national experts from across the country. Approximately 80 participants attended.

March 2016arrow

Cancer gene twice as likely to be defective in children with autism

March 30, 2016

A large study by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute has found that a gene whose role is to suppress cellular damage from environmental stressors is nearly twice as likely to be defective in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and that the deficit is also present in their fathers.

Hispanics with dementia receive antipsychotic medications at twice the rate of non-Hispanics

March 24, 2016

Antipsychotic medications are prescribed to Hispanics with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias at higher rates than non-Hispanic whites, for dementia-related mental-health symptoms such as depression, anxiety and aggression, a UC Davis study conducted using data from a large and diverse population of elderly dementia patients has found.

Hales receives prestigious educator award from the American Psychiatric Association

March 23, 2016

Robert Hales, distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UC Davis, has received the 2016 Vestermark Award from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for his excellence, leadership and creativity in the field of psychiatry education.

Bold Vision, Bright Future depicted in murals at the MIND

March 11, 2016

Visitors to the UC Davis MIND Institute’s Massie Family Clinic are now met with a wall of vibrant colors and whimsical designs in ceramic tile, a creation of The Mural Project, which combined the talents of three professional artists and artists with developmental disabilities from the Short Centers.

February 2016arrow

This is your brain on exercise

February 23, 2016

People who exercise have better mental fitness, and a new imaging study from UC Davis Health System shows why. Intense exercise increases levels of two common neurotransmitters — glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA — that are responsible for chemical messaging within the brain.

UC Davis MIND Institute to host documentary film and panel at Davis Senior Center

February 22, 2016

The UC Davis MIND Institute, in partnership with Lynn and Keith Volkerts and the George and Lena Valente Foundation, will host an “Afternoon of Discovery and Discussion” on Sunday, March 6.

UC Davis MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series features renowned neuroscientist Karl Deisseroth

February 8, 2016

Neuroscientist Karl Deisseroth, the D.H. Chen Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, will discuss “Illuminating the Brain in Health and Disease” during the next UC Davis MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series presentation on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 4:30 p.m.

January 2016arrow

Media advisory: UC Davis fair focuses on mental health and young adults

January 11, 2016

Student advocate Jordana Steinberg will talk about the need to expand mental health support for young adults at the Student Resiliency and Mental Health Fair at UC Davis. Sponsored by the UC Davis Behavioral Health Center of Excellence, the event will feature mental health and wellness resources available on campus and in the community.

November 2015arrow

The functional anatomy of language: Four things you need to know

November 4, 2015

Gregory Hickok, founder and director, Center for Language Science, UC Irvine, will discuss “The functional anatomy of language: four things you need to know,” during the December UC Davis MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series presentation.

October 2015arrow

MIND Institute offers program for adults with autism spectrum disorder

October 29, 2015

Researchers with the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence and MIND Institute at UC Davis are seeking adult participants, aged 18 to 38 years and diagnosed with or suspected of having autism or Asperger’s disorder, to participate in a research study, the ACCESS Program (Acquiring Career, Coping, Executive-Function and Social Skills Program).

Amaral appointed to Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the Department of Health and Human Services

October 28, 2015

David Amaral, Beneto Foundation Chair and Director of Research, UC Davis MIND Institute, has been appointed by United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), which advises the secretary on approaches to advance research, strengthen services and increase opportunities for people with autism spectrum disorder.

September 2015arrow

UC Davis MIND Institute studies the use of sertaline (Zoloft ®) in young children with autism spectrum disorder

September 18, 2015

Whether the language and social development of very young children with ASD can be improved through treatment with sertraline, commonly known by the brand name Zoloft ®, is the subject of a new clinical trial at the UC Davis MIND Institute.

2015-16 MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series starts Oct. 14

September 16, 2015

The UC Davis MIND Institute kicks off its 2015-16 Distinguished Lecturer Series in October with an address by Lisa Croen, Director of the Kaiser Permanente Autism Research Program, who will address “The epidemiology of autism: Investigating perinatal risk factors.” The event will be held Wednesday, Oct. 14 from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the MIND Institute, 2825 50th St. It is free and open to the public and no reservations are required.

Initiative to improve treatment, services for children with autism receives $10 million grant

September 16, 2015

Researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute are participating in an initiative project to provide better treatment for children with autism in under-served areas through a five-year, $10 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. The program aims, to bring evidence-based research practices to communities throughout the U.S.