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Creighton Neuroscientist Receives Major NIMH Grant

Creighton Neuroscientist Receives Major NIMH Grant

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has awarded Kevin Happe, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Creighton University School of Medicine, a three-year, $740,000 research grant.

Happe will study how alpha-2 adrenergic receptors in the central nervous system are affected in clinical depression and their role in treatment with antidepressant drugs.

Among other things, the study may help determine how antidepressants can more rapidly and effectively relieve depression. On average, most antidepressants currently must be taken from three weeks to two months before a patient shows improvement.

Frederick Petty, Ph.D., M.D., Creighton vice chair for research and professor of psychiatry, and researchers from University of Nebraska Medical Center and University of Nebraska at Lincoln researchers are study co-investigators.

Each year, 9.5 percent of the population, or about 20.9 million American adults, suffer from a depressive illness. Clinical depression is a severe and potentially lethal mental illness often associated with a severe, unexpected and incapacitating stressful life event.

posted 06/13/07