September 4, 2008

Pitt Gets $10 Million to Study Schizophrenia

A $10 million federal grant will allow the University of Pittsburgh to establish a new center for studying schizophrenia, officials announced today.

The Conte Center for the Neuroscience of Mental Disorders will focus on developing new treatments for the disease, which affects more than 2 million adults in the United States. It was established with a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health.

"Our goal is to understand how schizophrenia affects brain function, to identify new treatments and to develop better ways to assess the effectiveness of those treatments," Dr. David A. Lewis, a UPMC professor of translational neuroscience, said in a news release. He will direct the center.

The World Health Organization calls schizophrenia one of the leading causes of years of life lost to disability and premature mortality.

The center's research will center on observing how a certain gene that helps transmit neurons is reduced in people with schizophrenia. Doctors hope to develop molecular targets to intervene in that process.

Originally published by The Tribune-Review.

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