Could We Someday Prevent Schizophrenia Like We Prevent Cleft Palate?

Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Prefrontal Cortical Circuits in Schizophrenia: Molecular Vulnerabilities, and Clues for Treatments

Schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses have significant genetic components and thereby pass to new generations. Preventive treatments targeted to brain development before birth might decrease risk in the generation just being born. One new strategy uses a nutrient choline provided in the mother’s diet, similar to the worldwide use of folic acid to prevent spina bifida and cleft palate in newborns.

Webinar Recording:

Presented by 
Robert R. Freedman, M.D.
Robert R. Freedman, M.D.
University of Colorado School of Medicine

Professor and Chairman

Department of Pharmacology

Scientific Council Member (Joined 2001)

2015 Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research

2006, 1999 Distinguished Investigator Grantee

Dr. Freedman's laboratory is concerned with understanding the development of schizophrenia. Using psychophysiological tools such as auditory evoked potentials with patients with schizophrenia and their families, his laboratory identifies individuals who may carry genes which convey risk for schizophrenia. Molecular biological tools such as gene sequencing and in situ hybridization are used to search for the genetic abnormalities in schizophrenia. Facilities range from a laboratory nursery school, where one can observe the development of children of mothers with schizophrenia, to basic science laboratories, where psychophysiological abnormalities can be modeled in animals and studied at the single neuron level.

Robert Freedman, MD, is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and trained at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Chicago.

Moderated by 
Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D.
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

President and CEO

Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., serves as the President & CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the largest private funder of mental health research grants. Dr. Borenstein developed the public television program Healthy Minds and serves as host of the series. The program, which is broadcast nationwide, focuses on topics in psychiatry in order to educate the public, reduce stigma and offer a message of hope. Dr. Borenstein also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Psychiatric News, the newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association and as an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.