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Neuroscience and Society Series: Mental Illness

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Mental Illness Across the Ages: From Children, to Adolescents, to Middle Aged and the Elderly


Mental illness is a brain disorder that often results in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life. Unlike most disabling physical illnesses, mental illness begins very early in life, with half of all lifetime cases beginning by age 14. It is estimated that mental illness affects 1 in 4 families in America, with an estimated 23% of American adults 18 and older and 20% of American children suffering from a mental disorder during a given year. Advances in neuroscience and related fields have produced evidence-based treatment options, but there remain serious gaps in access by those most in need across all age cohorts. The accumulated burden and hazards of untreated mental illness is a critical public health issue for all Americans. This event will focus on what we know about the causes, effects and treatments of mental illness, from young children, to adolescents, to middle-age and elderly patients.

Anne Marie Albano, Ph.D., ABPP
Professor of Medical Psychology in Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center

Colleen L. Barry PhD, MPP
Associate Professor
Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Nelson B. Freimer, M.D.
Maggie G. Gilbert Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and Director, UCLA Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics