The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences focuses on outstanding clinical care throughout the lifecycle, translational research and teaching future leaders in the field. The strengths of the Department include clinical programs in Psychosomatic Medicine, Addiction Medicine, Memory Disorders, HIV/AIDS and the Brain and Child Psychiatry.
The Integrated Memory Disorders Program, in partnership with the Alzheimer's Association of Los Angeles, includes collaboration among the departments of Psychiatry, Imaging, Occupational and Rehabilitation Medicine, Neurosurgery, Medicine and the Division of Neurology. The program serves as a liaison between patients, families, Cedars-Sinai resources and outside community services combining state-of-the-art care with cutting-edge translational research.
The Division of Child Psychiatry has developed an innovative program that supplies child and adolescent psychiatric care to individuals with pervasive developmental disorders who are unable to come to conventional settings for care. This telepsychiatry model pioneered at Cedars-Sinai is becoming recognized nationally as an approach that can bring leading edge healthcare to disadvantaged individuals who may live in areas where there is no access to high quality care. This program embodies all of the goals of the Department: it serves a complex population in need, provides a unique but needed training experience for medical students, residents, and fellows, and has an active, ongoing research component.
One in three individuals will have a major psychiatric syndrome in their lifetime. New treatment approaches are critical to millions of Americans, and progress in molecular science and genetics is bringing about better therapeutic strategies from the bench to the bedside.
Researchers at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences investigate genetic, biochemical and environmental causes of brain diseases such as addiction, memory disorders, and depression. Their efforts focus on understanding the basic neurobiology of psychiatric disorders as well as developing new treatments, augmenting existing treatment strategies, and improving diagnostic tools for anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia. Clinical trials involve drug therapies, gene therapy, complementary and alternative medicine and brain imaging.
Participation is based on a thorough consent process, which ensures that subjects understand the purpose of a study, the procedures involved, and the possible risks and benefits of participation. Those who qualify are carefully monitored over the course of participation to ensure their safety and well-being and the effectiveness of their treatment.
Research activities include investigating new drug treatments for alcoholism based on growing understanding of the biology of alcoholism and the brain. National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded research includes the genetics of emotions, including work in understanding the genetic origins and brain structure and function.
With depression affecting more than 320 million individuals worldwide, Cedars-Sinai physicians and scientists are conducting a broad array of studies that seek to alleviate depression, including NIH-funded research to study treatment with alternative therapies such as changing the ratio of Omega-3 (fish oil) to Omega-6 fatty acids in diet and using St. John's Wort to treat minor depression.
As the number of people with Alzheimer's disease continues to skyrocket, Cedars-Sinai research studies are investigating potential early biomarkers of the disorder. Cedars-Sinai scientists have developed an exciting new animal model of Alzheimer's disease that may lead to new insights into the diagnosis and treatment of memory disorders. Other projects include work employing neuro-imaging and genetic tools to study atrophy of the hippocampus, a key area of the brain for memory function.
The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences offers an ACGME-approved residency in psychiatry. Residents are exposed to a highly diverse population in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and economic standing. Some of the unique features of the program include its intimate size and the extremely strong emphasis in Psychosomatic medicine and Addiction Medicine.
The Department also offers ACGME- approved fellowships in Addiction Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Psychosomatic Medicine. There is also a fellowship in Psychiatric Research.
Mark H. Rapaport, MD
Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences
Polier Endowed Chair in Schizophrenia and related Disorders
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