Front Street Clinic Inc

Summer Newsletter, June 2013

Front Street Clinic Welcomes Michele Switzer MD to Our Practice!

We are excited to welcome Dr. Michele Switzer to our team of clinicians at Front Street Clinic.

Dr. Switzer has over nine years of experience as a psychiatrist and is currently board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She specializes in addiction treatment and has extensive experience treating all manner of psychiatric disorders, including but not limited to depression, bipolar illness, anxiety, psychosis, and ADHD.

"I believe in listening to a patient's needs and treating them as individuals. I enjoy outpatient work because it allows me to develop an ongoing relationship with my patients, which allows for better treatment outcomes. It is gratifying to watch their symptoms improve over time." ~ Dr. Switzer

Study Finds that Mental Illnesses Share Common DNA Roots

The biggest study yet into genetics and mental health has come up with a stunning result: The five most common mental illnesses -- autism, attention deficit disorder, bipolar disease, schizophrenia and major depression -- all have a common genetic root.

The finding, published in the journal Lancet on Wednesday, may eventually lead to a complete rewrite of the medical understanding of the causes of mental illness.

“We have been able to discover specific genetic variants that seem to overlap among disorders that we think of as very clinically different,” Dr. Jordan Smoller of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who led the study, said in a telephone interview.

The study does not explain every case of psychiatric disease, the researchers stress.

“We think this is one tiny fraction of the genetic component of these disorders. They involve hundreds and possibly thousands of genes,” Smoller said.

And it didn’t show every case was related. But it demonstrated on a genetic level that the five diseases are more like a continuum of dysfunction than five separate and discrete conditions.

Smoller’s international team included dozens of researchers who looked at the genetics of more than 33,000 psychiatric patients and compared them to nearly 28,000 people without mental illness. They did what is called a genome-wide association study -- a scan of all the DNA.

“We aimed to identify specific variants underlying genetic effects shared between the five disorders in the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium: autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia,” they wrote in their report.

This article was originally published on MSNBC by Maggie Fox. Click here to read the article in its entirety.

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