Psychiatric disorders

The number of people suffering from psychiatric conditions is staggering. One in four Americans will experience some form of mental illness this year. Approximately 14.8 million Americans – that’s more than the populations of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston combined – live with major depression.

HudsonAlpha has advanced sequencing, analytic and research capabilities that support accelerated research in complex psychiatric disorders.

Unmasking psychiatric disease: looking for the genetic cause of major depression

Researchers at HudsonAlpha have outlined the chemical changes in the brain tissue of individuals affected with neuropsychiatric conditions like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. They have identified a series of chemical reactions in brain cells that are related to those disorders. Scientists are analyzing that information to learn more about psychiatric disease.

In addition, in an effort to identify the genetic components of major depression and suicidal tendencies, researchers at HudsonAlpha are analyzing whole genome sequencing for more than 450 samples. About half of those samples are healthy controls and half are cases with major depression, including some with major depression and psychosis. By looking at severe cases of depression, researchers are hoping to find a genetic connection to more common psychiatric conditions like anxiety.

Collaborating to better understand psychiatric disorders and discover new treatment options

HudsonAlpha is a member of the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium, a group of research institutions that work together to discover the neurobiological and genetic causes of major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The consortium’s current strategy is to use a combination of genetics, genomics, epigenetics and neuroscience to understand the underlying neurological causes of psychiatric disease. Consortium members are also working to identify biomarkers for better diagnosis of psychiatric disorders and to discover new treatment options.