Mclean Hospital

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Psychiatrists Without Borders: Collaborating Across Cultures

Language barriers and cultural differences had little effect as McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School scientists and their colleagues from the Chinese Society of Psychiatry convened in early October to launch the first conference of the McLean Hospital-Chinese Society of Psychiatry Initiative in Psychiatry (MCIP). The three-day conference, held at McLean’s Belmont, Massachusetts, campus,...

Breaking Research Finding: Anxiety and Fear Are Controlled by Different Brain Circuitry

Earlier this month, McLean Hospital researchers became the first to identify defined populations of neurons that are absolutely critical for the anxiety-reducing action of the widely used medication Valium®. This finding may have implications for developing more effective treatments for anxiety disorders, which are the most common psychiatric disorders in the United States. “While one-...

It’s All About the Brain: New Research Community Outreach Program Launches

When it comes to teaching students about the brain, there’s nothing like having a human brain on hand for the lesson. That’s the philosophy behind McLean’s new educational outreach program spearheaded by Filomene G. Morrison, a PhD candidate at McLean and Emory University, and Stephanie A. Maddox, PhD, Research Fellow—both researchers in McLean’s Neurobiology of...

7th Annual McLean Research Day Draws More than 200 Participants

More than 200 researchers and clinicians attended the seventh annual McLean Research Day on January 20 to learn about the latest scientific investigations and discoveries being made across the hospital. Details of new research projects were displayed on 121 posters representing basic science, translational, clinical, neuroimaging, health services, and implementation science research pertaining...

Crossing Borders: McLean and the Chinese Society of Psychiatry Forge Collaboration

In October 2015, researchers from McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the Chinese Society of Psychiatry convened on McLean’s Belmont campus, marking the first meeting of the new McLean Hospital-Chinese Society of Psychiatry Initiative in Psychiatry (MCIP). Established to foster collaborations among clinician-investigators specializing in major psychotic and mood disorders and the...

Improving Lives Through Innovative Translational Research

Scientists at McLean Hospital are gaining more insight into the causes of mental illness, neuropsychiatric disorders, and neurodevelopmental disorders by using cutting-edge approaches and technology to manipulate pathways and circuits in the brains of animals that produce behaviors similar to humans. “McLean is at the forefront of building new treatments and interventions based on our...

Supporting New Discoveries in Psychiatry

Thanks to a recent gift from Patricia and James Poitras to establish the James and Patricia Poitras Endowed Chair in Psychiatry, McLean Hospital has recruited world-renowned clinician-researcher Kerry J. Ressler, MD, PhD, as the new Chief Scientific Officer. As an expert in fear-based disorders, Dr. Ressler’s research examines how fear works in the mammalian brain at cellular and molecular...

New Study Indicates That Sense of Smell Could Play Major Role in New Approaches to Treating PTSD

For those who live with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the sense of smell could one day play a prominent role in treatment, according to researchers at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, who co-authored a paper published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The new paper “Extinction Reverses Olfactory Fear Conditioned Increases in Neuron...

McLean Neurobiologist Receives Fulbright Scholar Award

Zhicheng (Carl) Lin, PhD, associate neurobiologist in McLean’s Laboratory of Psychiatric Neurogenomics and assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has been awarded a US Fulbright Scholar grant to conduct research on the human genetics of substance use disorders (SUD) in St. Petersburg, Russia. The United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign...

Philanthropy: Funding McLean’s Future

Philanthropy takes many forms, and gifts of all sizes can nurture the full breadth of McLean’s mission. Sometimes, philanthropic giving transcends both time and the need to create something special, having a lasting impact on the hospital, as well as on people and families living with mental illness. Francine Benes, MD, PhD, holds the William P. and Henry B. Test Professorship in...

Room with a View: Powerful Microscopes Help Determine Targets for Therapeutics

The Microscopy Core Facility, on the ground floor of McLean’s Mailman Research Center, houses some of the most sophisticated magnifying instruments available. Their capabilities astound: the transmission electron microscope (TEM), for example, can magnify a spot on a rodent brain slice up to 300,000 times with impeccable resolution, revealing even the infinitesimal junctions—the...

Xenon Exposure Shown to Block Traumatic Memories: Potential New Treatment for People with PTSD

In a study published earlier this year, McLean Hospital researchers found that xenon gas, used in humans for anesthesia and diagnostic imaging, has the potential to be a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other memory-related disorders. “In our study, we found that xenon gas has the capability of reducing memories of traumatic events,” says Edward G. Meloni, PhD...

McLean Researchers Participate in Society for Neuroscience’s Annual Conference

In November, several McLean physician-scientists and neuroscience researchers traveled to Washington, DC to participate in the Society for Neuroscience's (SfN) annual conference—the world's largest meeting on scientific discovery related to the brain and nervous system. More than 15,000 scientific presentations were given on the advances in techniques and new research about brain structure...

Frank Tarazi is Helping to Develop International Plans for Investments into Brain Health

Earlier this year, Frank Tarazi, MBBS, PhD, MBA was appointed to the Global Agenda Council on Brain Research, joining 17 other prominent leaders in the fields of academia, business, economics, medicine, and science to collaborate and develop business plans that will aim to generate new investments worldwide into brain research. The newly-convened council was created by the World Economic Forum (...

Understanding the Brain’s “Suffocation Alarm”

Panic disorder is a severe form of anxiety in which the affected individual feels an abrupt onset of fear, often accompanied by profound physical symptoms of discomfort. Scientists have known from studying twins that genes contribute to the risk of panic disorder, but very little is known about which specific genes are involved. Two of the most common and terrifying symptoms of this severe...

Longtime Supporters Bring World Class Research Leader to McLean

For longtime donors and McLean National Council members Pat and Jim Poitras, supporting new discoveries in psychiatry has been a common thread in their philanthropy. That is why they have, for many years, invested in research at McLean Hospital. Their most recent gift to McLean—and largest at $4 million—established the Patricia and James Poitras Endowed Chair in Psychiatry at McLean...

McLean Hospital Explores the Use of Stem Cell Therapy to Treat Epilepsy

McLean Hospital and Harvard Stem Cell Institute scientists have new evidence that stem cell transplantation could be a worthwhile strategy to help epileptics who do not respond to anti-seizure drugs. As reported in Cell Stem Cell, the laboratory of McLean Associate Neurobiologist Sangmi Chung, PhD transplanted seizure-inhibiting, human embryonic stem cell-derived neurons into the brains of mice...

Department of Defense Grant Looks At Nicotine’s Role in PTSD

Researchers at McLean’s Behavioral Genetics Lab are using animal models to study the effects of nicotine on vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a study funded by the Department of Defense (DoD). While the three-year, $600,000 study still has a year left to go, preliminary findings suggest that use of nicotine may be helpful in preventing some of the core signs of PTSD...

Potential New Treatment for PTSD Discovered

McLean Hospital researchers are reporting that xenon gas, used in humans for anesthesia and diagnostic imaging, has the potential to be a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other memory-related disorders. “In our study, we found that xenon gas has the capability of reducing memories of traumatic events,” said Edward G. Meloni, PhD, assistant psychologist at...

Xenon Exposure Shown to Erase Traumatic Memories

McLean Hospital researchers are reporting that xenon gas, used in humans for anesthesia and diagnostic imaging, has the potential to be a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other memory-related disorders. “In our study, we found that xenon gas has the capability of reducing memories of traumatic events,” said Edward G. Meloni, PhD, assistant psychologist at...

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