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Advances in Mental Health

Welcome to Advances in Mental Health, a blog developed by McLean Hospital featuring commentary on mental health topics in the news, opinions by hospital thought-leaders and discussion about local, regional and national mental health policy. Advances in Mental Health provides our community with an opportunity to educate, while working toward reducing and ultimately eliminating the stigma of mental illness.

Pictured: Marisa M. Silveri, PhD, director, Neurodevelopmental Laboratory on Addictions and Mental Health

PTSD: Can Genetics Affect Your Risk?

Researcher Torsten Klengel, MD, PhD, on the close interaction between post-traumatic stress disorder and genetics.

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Torsten Klengel, MD, PhD

“A majority of the US population is exposed to a psychological trauma during their life. However, only a fraction of those who experience such events will develop post-traumatic stress disorder.”

– Dr. Torsten Klengel

Advances in Mental Health

Bruce M. Cohen, MD, PhD

Are We Looking at Psychiatric Disorders the Wrong Way?

The first psychiatric patient I evaluated—42 years ago—presented with delusions and mood swings. Based on those symptoms, our attending physician diagnosed her with schizoaffective disorder. We medical clerks were confused by that...

Staci Gruber, PhD

Marijuana Use Among Young People

In my research, I primarily focus on the neurocognitive effects of substance use, particularly marijuana. This includes medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. Much of my recent work has explored the effects of recreational marijuana use on...


Organ Donation: Why Do We Need Healthy Brains?

We usually don’t think about our brains when considering organ donation. We are more apt to think about how our other organs, such as the kidneys, lungs, or heart, could potentially save the life of another person.

A donated brain,...