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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

News releases

July 2014arrow

Program succeeds in supporting women faculty at UC Davis School of Medicine

July 25, 2014

A program that supports the professional development of female faculty at the UC Davis School of Medicine has been recognized as a model for other institutions seeking to address challenges facing female faculty.

Experiences at every stage of life contribute to cognitive abilities in old age

July 24, 2014

Early life experiences, such as childhood socioeconomic status and literacy, may have greater influence on the risk of cognitive impairment late in life than such demographic characteristics as race and ethnicity, a large study by researchers with the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center and the University of Victoria, Canada, has found.

MIND Institute researchers seek infants for study on early signs of autism and ADHD

July 18, 2014

UC Davis MIND Institute researchers are seeking participants for a new study that will examine the early development of infants who have an older sibling with autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or who are developing typically. In an effort to detect the earliest signs of developmental problems, the researchers will test a new online screening measure that uses videos to help parents track their infants’ development.

June 2014arrow

UC Davis MIND Institute study finds association between maternal exposure to agricultural pesticides, autism in offspring

June 22, 2014

Pregnant women who lived in close proximity to fields and farms where chemical pesticides were applied experienced a two-thirds increased risk of having a child with autism spectrum disorder or other developmental delay, a study by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute has found. The associations were stronger when the exposures occurred during the second and third trimesters of the women’s pregnancies. [en español]

May 2014arrow

Carter to be featured in statewide mental health documentary

May 29, 2014

Cameron Carter, professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, will be featured in “A Choice to Heal: Mental Health in California,” a new documentary that explores groundbreaking approaches to prevention and early intervention for Californians with mental illnessess. Hosted by actress Mariel Hemingway, the program will air on Saturday, May 31 from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on television station KOVR 13 in Sacramento.

June MIND Institute Distinguished Lecture to address adult treatments for neurodevelopmental disorders

May 28, 2014

Alcino J. Silva, an internationally respected professor of neurobiology, psychiatry and psychology and director of the Integrative Center for Learning and Memory at UCLA, will discuss “Mechanisms and Adult Treatments for Neurodevelopmental Disorders” during the June UC Davis MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series presentation.

MIND Institute slates annual Summer Institute on Neurodevelopmental Disorders

May 15, 2014

The UC Davis MIND Institute holds the annual Summer Institute on Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Research to Practice on Friday, Aug. 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the UC Davis Alumni Center. The daylong conference offers nine seminars on a broad array of subjects delivered by some of the world’s leading experts on neurodevelopmental disabilities.

From Genes to Biology in Autism Spectrum Disorder topic of next MIND Institute lecture

May 8, 2014

Recent progress in understanding genetic risk of autism spectrum disorder and next steps toward a better comprehension of the genetic processes underlying autism and other disabilities with social components is the topic of the next UC Davis MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series presentation.

April 2014arrow

SSRI use during pregnancy is associated with risk of autism, developmental delays in male children

April 14, 2014

Prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), medications frequently prescribed to treat depression, anxiety and other mental-health disorders, is associated with a higher incidence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and developmental delays (DD) in male children, a study of nearly 1,000 mother-child pairs has found.

UC Davis MIND Institute hosts Northern California premiere of Sounding the Alarm with Autism Speaks

April 8, 2014

On Tuesday, April 29, the UC Davis MIND Institute hosts the Northern California premiere screening of “Sounding the Alarm,” a film that gives viewers a look at the profound changes that take place in the lives of 12 American families after their children receive an autism diagnosis. The screening will be held in the auditorium of the MIND Institute, 2825 50th St., Sacramento, as part of the institute's Autism Awareness Month activities.

New test makes Parkinson's-like disorder of middle age detectable in young adulthood

April 2, 2014

The very earliest signs of a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder, in which physical symptoms are not apparent until the fifth decade of life, are detectable in individuals as young as 30 years old using a new, sophisticated type of neuroimaging, researchers at UC Davis, the University of Illinois and UCLA have found.

March 2014arrow

April Minds Behind the MIND features updates on autism research, treatment

March 28, 2014

Internationally respected autism researchers Sally J. Rogers and Judy Van de Water will provide updates on clinical and research advances in autism spectrum disorder on Wednesday, April 16 during the Autism Awareness Month Minds Behind the MIND presentation.

UC Davis MIND Institute joins ranks of elite U.S. neurodevelopmental centers

March 11, 2014

The UC Davis MIND Institute has been named an Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC), through a prestigious grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health — a distinction held by only a handful of neurodevelopmental centers nationwide committed to the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and amelioration of developmental disorders such as autism, fragile X syndrome and Down syndrome.

UC Davis MIND Institute announces 2014 Autism Awareness Month events

March 6, 2014

April is Annual Autism Awareness Month, and the UC Davis MIND Institute will hold a series of activities for people of all ages and abilities during this month-long observance. Unless otherwise noted, the eventsare free and open to the public and take place at the UC Davis MIND Institute, 2825 50th St., Sacramento, Calif.  

Atypical development in the siblings of children with autism is detectable at 12 months

March 5, 2014

Atypical development can be detected as early as 12 months of age among the siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder, a study published by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute and UCLA has found.

February 2014arrow

UC Davis tests new smartphone app to help patients with mental illness

February 28, 2014

Sacramento-area youth in the early stages of serious mental illness can receive a new smartphone app that helps them detect early warning signs of psychosis, through a one-year, $588,000 grant to the UC Davis Early Diagnosis and Preventive Treatment (EDAPT) Clinic from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to study whether harnessing mobile technology improves patient care.

MIND Institute launches "Colombia Project of Hope"

February 25, 2014

Researchers at the internationally respected UC Davis MIND Institute are collaborating with scientists at two Colombian universities to investigate the very high rate of fragile X-related disorders in one region in the South American country. [en español]

Connecting the dots between motor, social and communication skills in autism

February 20, 2014

Stewart H. Mostofsky, director of the Laboratory for Neurocognitive and Imaging Research at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University, will discuss “Motor and Social Skill Function: Connecting Learning and Brain Function in Autism” during the March UC Davis MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series presentation.

January 2014arrow

Distinguished lecture to explore implementing school programs for children with autism

January 13, 2014

David S. Mandell, associate director of the Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research at the University of Pennsylvania, will present “Context Matters: Implementing Evidence-based Practices for Children with Autism in Public Schools” during the February UC Davis MIND Institute Distinguished Lecture.

Katherine Rauen receives Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

January 10, 2014

Katherine A. Rauen, professor in the Department of Pediatrics and a physician-scientist affiliated with the UC Davis MIND Institute and UC Davis Children’s Hospital, has received a 2013 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their research careers.

December 2013arrow

January distinguished lecture to address the link between the gut and the brain in autism

December 12, 2013

Alessio Fasano, an internationally respected pediatric gastroenterologist, research scientist and founder of the Center for Celiac Research at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, will present “Gut-brain interaction in autism spectrum disorder: What language do they speak, and do they understand each other?” during the January 2014 UC Davis MIND Institute distinguished lecture.

November 2013arrow

The woman's view from the heart of families with fragile X syndrome

November 20, 2013

"Fragile X-Associated Disorders: A Woman’s View from the Heart of the Family," is the topic of the December UC Davis MIND Institute Distinguished Lecture Series presentation.

Yellowlees appointed to Institute of Medicine Committee evaluating mental-health care for veterans

November 19, 2013

Peter Yellowlees, professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, has been appointed to a prestigious national committee established by the Institute of Medicine that will assess the quality and availability of mental-health care services for veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom (the Iraq war), Operation New Dawn (the Iraq war after August 2010), and Operation Enduring Freedom (the war in Afghanistan).

Children who have autism far more likely to have tummy troubles

November 6, 2013

Children with autism experience gastrointestinal (GI) upsets such as constipation, diarrhea and sensitivity to foods six-to-eight times more often than do children who are developing typically, and those symptoms are related to behavioral problems, including social withdrawal, irritability and repetitive behaviors, a new study by researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute has found. [en español] [中文 Chinese]

Interactive computer program helps patients talk with their physician about depression

November 5, 2013

Patients who used an interactive computer program about depression while waiting to see their primary-care doctor were nearly twice as likely to ask about the condition and significantly more likely to receive a recommendation for antidepressant drugs or a mental-health referral from their physician, according to a new study by researchers at UC Davis.

October 2013arrow

UC Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center to hold Caregivers Workshop

October 29, 2013

As part of its 2013 community engagement series, the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center will hold a workshop for those caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The Caregivers Workshop will be held on Saturday, Nov. 9, from 8 a.m. to noon in the UC Davis MIND Institute auditorium, 2825 50th St., Sacramento.

Social brain development in autism the topic of November distinguished lecture

October 25, 2013

James C. McPartland, director of the Developmental Disabilities Clinic at the Child Study Center at Yale University, will discuss “Motivated for Change: Rethinking Models of Social Brain Development in Autism Spectrum Disorder” during the November UC Davis MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series presentation. The lecture will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the MIND Institute, 2825 50th St., Sacramento. 

MIND Institute researcher partners to speed development of treatments for autism

October 15, 2013

Jacqueline Crawley, the Robert E. Chason Endowed Chair in Translational Research in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, will participate in the Preclinical Autism Consortium for Therapeutics (PACT), a new partnership sponsored by Autism Speaks to facilitate the discovery of effective treatments for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Other collaborators in the initiative are at Boston Children's Hospital and at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

UC Davis MIND Institute announces 2013-2014 Minds Behind the MIND speaker series

October 10, 2013

The 2013-14 season of the UC Davis MIND Institute's Minds Behind the MIND series begins in November with nationally recognized MIND Institute researchers partnering with community representatives to provide the latest information on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), one of many neurodevelopmental disabilities studied at the MIND Institute. Subsequent presentations focus on how technology can aid people with developmental disabilities and on new findings in autism treatments.  

UC Davis study finds potential biomarker differentiating the inattentive and combined subtypes of ADHD

October 8, 2013

Using a common test of brain functioning, UC Davis researchers have found differences in the brains of adolescents with the inattentive and combined subtypes of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and teens who do not have the condition, suggesting that the test may offer a potential biomarker for the types of the disorder. [中文 Chinese] or [en español]

MIND Institute to participate in international study of schizophrenia in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome

October 7, 2013

Researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute will participate in an international consortium spanning four continents that will study the genetics of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders in chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome through a four-year, $12 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to the International Consortium on Brain and Behavior in 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome.

September 2013arrow

12th Annual UC Davis MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series kicks off Oct. 9

September 23, 2013

The UC Davis MIND Institute begins the 12th year of its Distinguished Lecturer Series on Wednesday, Oct. 9. The venerable series' presenters include nationally and internationally recognized researchers in autism spectrum disorder, fragile X-associated disorders and other neurodevelopmental conditions.

UC Davis researchers find how viral infection disrupts neural development in offspring, increasing risk of autism

September 19, 2013

Activating a mother’s immune system during her pregnancy disrupts the development of neural cells in the brain of her offspring and damages the cells' ability to transmit signals and communicate with one another, researchers with the Center for Neuroscience and Department of Neurology have found. The researchers said the finding suggests how maternal viral infection might increase the risk of having a child with autism spectrum disorder or schizophrenia.

UC Davis MIND Institute researcher receives grant to explore four neurodevelopmental disorders

September 19, 2013

Jacqueline N. Crawley, an internationally renowned behavioral neuroscientist, has received a five-year, nearly $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to understand the synaptic dysfunctions that limit how people with certain neurodevelopmental disorders form memories and learn. The research also will investigate the effectiveness of potential targeted therapies for the disorders: fragile X syndrome, Rett syndrome, Down syndrome and Angelman syndrome.

Study finds that a subset of children often considered to have autism may be misdiagnosed

September 17, 2013

Children with a genetic disorder called 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, who frequently are believed to also have autism, often may be misidentified because the social impairments associated with their developmental delay may mimic the features of autism, a study by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute suggests.

Virtual reality and social training for autism study seeks participants

September 3, 2013

Using a virtual‐reality game, UC Davis researchers have begun to examine how children with high‐functioning autism learn in classroom settings, where social deficits can form obstacles to the engagement with teachers and classmates necessary for academic success. The study will examine their virtual classroom behavior and attention and compare it with that of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and those with typical development.

August 2013arrow

UC Davis researchers receive $2.5 million grant to study telepsychiatry

August 15, 2013

Researchers at UC Davis have received a five-year, $2.5 million grant to study whether viewing videotaped interviews with patients to assess them and guide their mental-health treatment is more cost-effective and better for patient outcomes and satisfaction than real-time telepsychiatric evaluation.

UC Davis researchers receive grant to study depression and suicide in older men

August 2, 2013

Researchers at UC Davis have received a three-year, $725,000 grant from the National Institute on Mental Health to develop new, creative approaches to decreasing the burden of late-life depression and the risk of suicide among older men.