Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
Sherry Levy-Reiner, Lecture Series Coordinator (202) 707-1513

April 24, 1996

Fifty Years of National Institutes of Health Progress Is Focus of Decade of the Brain Series

A series of special programs, "Fifty Years of Progress in Understanding and Treating Mental Illness," is being planned by the Library of Congress and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) of the National Institutes of Health.

All sessions are free and open to the public. They will take place in the Library of Congress's Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., on six mornings in May and June, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The first three programs and speakers include:

Thursday, May 2

"Overcoming Obstacles to Treatment," Mumford Room, 6th Floor
Rex W. Cowdry, M.D., Acting Deputy Director of the National Institute of Mental Health
Laurie Flynn, Executive Director, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
Robert Boorstin, Senior Advisor, United States Department of State

At a time when, according to NIMH research, one out of every five Americans is grappling with a brain-related problem serious enough to require treatment, only a very small percentage receive the care they need. What stands in their way? The highest barriers are the oldest ones: fear and misunderstanding. Others don't know how to get treatment; still others cannot afford it or aren't aware of available resources. Mr. Boorstin will describe his personal battle with manic-depressive disease; Dr. Cowdry and Ms. Flynn will talk about ways in which NIMH and mental health advocacy groups are striving to ensure accessible treatment to all who need it.

Thursday, May 9

"Depressive Illnesses," Dining Room A, 6th Floor
J. Raymond DePaulo Jr., M.D., Director, Affective Disorders Clinic, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University
Thomas Wehr, M.D., Chief, Clinical Psychobiology Branch, Mental Health Intramural Research Program, NIMH
Kathy Cronkite, Austin, Texas

Nearly 18 million Americans suffer from various forms of depression. Kathy Cronkite, daughter of Walter Cronkite, will share some of what she has written in On the Edge of Darkness about her own struggles. Drs. DePaulo and Wehr will discuss progress being made both in researching depressive illnesses and treating them.

Tuesday, May 14 (Brain Awareness Week)

"Schizophrenia," West Dining Room, 6th Floor
Daniel R. Weinberger, M.D., Chief, Clinical Brain Disorders Branch, Mental Health Intramural Research Program, NIMH
Alan Breier, M.D., Experimental Therapeutics Branch, Intramural Research Program, NIMH

A researcher and a clinician will describe current breakthroughs in understanding this most dramatic and dreaded brain disorder, which afflicts approximately 2 million Americans. A young schizophrenic will relate his experiences with the disease.

Other programs in the series, which marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the National Mental Health Act enabling the establishment of NIMH, will be:

  • Friday, May 31: "Developmental/Learning Disorders," Dining Room A, 6th Floor
  • Thursday, June 6: "Alzheimer's Disease," Dining Room A, 6th Floor
  • Wednesday, June 12: "Anxiety Disorders," Pickford Theatre, 3rd Floor

The purpose of the Decade of the Brain initiative, organized by the Library of Congress and NIMH, is to advance the goals set forth in a joint congressional resolution signed in 1990 by President George Bush declaring the 1990s the "Decade of the Brain." This year's series also marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the National Mental Health Act, which enabled the establishment of NIMH.

Interpreting services (American Sign Language, Contact Signing, Oral and/or Tactile) will be provided if requested five business days in advance of the event. Call (202) 707-6362 TTY and voice to make a specific request. For other ADA accommodations, please contact the Library's Disability Employment Program office at (202) 707-9948 TTY and (202) 707-7544 voice.

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PR 96-65
ISSN 0731-3527

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