Cardiff lead the way in Mental Health – Brain Disorders Research

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One of Cardiff University’s three new research institutes will focus on neuroscience and mental health says its director Professor Michael Owen and reported in Wales Online.

According to a report by a Welsh mental health promotion network, mental health costs the Welsh economy £7.2 billion a year.

Mental health is an area that is often overlooked and misunderstood says Professor Owen and in part, this is caused by lack of funding.

It’s quite shocking that cancer research receives 25 percent more funding in the UK than mental illness and yet mental health problems affect more people either directly, or indirectly than cancer does.

Apparently the estimated cost of dealing with dementia in the UK alone amounts to more than what it costs for cancer and heart disease combined.

Mental health problems span a wide range of conditions from depression, anxiety and panic attacks, to bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other forms of dementia as well as autism, ADHD and more.

Mental health problems are common and can strike anyone at any stage of their lives and are a major cause of disability and death throughout the entire world and the situation is expected to get worse.

Now Cardiff University having established a new neuroscience and mental health research institute are continuing to lead the way into mental health research.

Cardiff, in Wales has already been recognised for the advances they have made in understanding Alzheimer’s disease as well as Bipolar disorder and have made several medical breakthroughs.

The new research institute will draw expertise from other disciplines in the university and will develop new programmes of neuroscience research to promote greater understanding and diagnosis of mental health problems and brain diseases.

They are currently studying children with a genetic condition known as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.

Apart from a number of physical conditions, children with this condition often experience developmental delays and learning disabilities and are known to be at an increased risk of developing mental illnesses such as autism, ADHD, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

It is estimated that around 1 in 4,000 people suffer from 22q11.1 deletion syndrome (which refers to the deletion of a small piece of chromosome) although this figure could be much higher as some people don’t show many other signs and symptoms and therefore go undiagnosed.

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