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Developmental Research

Psychosis and Mood Disorders

  • How does the brain change as it grows from infancy through early adolescence?

  • What parts of brain growth increase risk for mental illnesses?

  • How do we measure brain changes as a child ages?

    1. With physiological tests (like EEG)
    2. With psychological tests
    3. With assessment of symptoms like mania and psychosis
  • What is the impact of genetics, nutrition, and environment on brain development?

  • Can we use the answers to these questions to devise new and better treatments for schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?

  • Can we find ways to decrease the number of people who get these major mental illnesses?

These are the research questions we focus on here in the Psychosis and Mood Disorders section of the Program in Developmental Research. To answer these questions, we need the help of families, from pregnancy through early adolescence. Participation of pregnant mothers, infants, preschoolers, and school-age children is appreciated. We need typical families that have little or no family history of major psychiatric illnesses, and families with schizophrenia, schizoaffective, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or bipolar disorder.