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article imageSchizophrenia research receives large cash donation

By Tim Sandle     Jul 26, 2014 in Science
The philanthropist Ted Stanley has announced he will donate $650 million to psychiatric research. The donation will be used to conduct studies aimed at findings the genetic causes of the mental health disorder.
Philanthropist Ted Stanley is awarding $650 million to the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute, to which he has already gifted $175 million, according to the Boston Globe. Stanley is chairman of MBI, Inc., a consumer products company who work with the National Football League and Major League Baseball.
From the interview, Stanley says that he was inspired to donate the large sum by the successful treatment of his son’s bipolar disorder. “There was a pill that saved his life. Essentially, it gave him the ability to have a normal life with a normal functioning brain,” Stanley told the Globe. “If I had had the same downfall at the same age that he had, I would have had my life ruined . . . because in between when I was that age and he was that age, someone had discovered that lithium makes people well when they have that illness.”
A number of schizophrenia researchers, who are looking at the genetic basis of the disease, are affiliated with the Stanley Center. The donation will be used to conduct genetic association studies; identify pathways involved in psychiatric disease; and develop new drug candidates.
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a breakdown of thought processes and by impaired emotional responses. Common symptoms include delusions, such as paranoid beliefs; hallucinations and disorganized thinking. Because schizophrenia often runs in families, this suggests that the condition has an underlying genetic basis (with social and environmental factors also contributing).
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