Massive $2.4 million to predict mental health risk
Hunter researchers have received a massive $2.4 million funding boost to uncover the genetic risk factors making some people more susceptible to mental illness.
The funding from the NSW Government will establish the Neurobehavioural Genetics Unit in the Hunter.
Researchers from the University of Newcastle's Priority Research Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research will collaborate with the Hunter Medical Research Institute's Brain and Mental Health and Information Based Medicine research programs.
The team hopes to dramatically increase understanding of the interaction between susceptibility genes for mental illness and stressful events.
The funding will enable research on the degrees of risk for common mental illnesses (such as depression) and related behaviours (such as drug and alcohol abuse or suicide) to be more accurately quantified. Outcomes can then be reliably predicted and new opportunities for prevention opened up.
The research will benefit people with mental disorders and related behaviours, particularly children and adolescents who are entering the period of highest risk for the onset of these disorders.
HMRI is a partnership between Hunter New England Health, the University of Newcastle and the community.