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Denmark Heads $21.5M Psychiatric Consortium that Includes BGI and Decode

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A Danish-led research consortium, along with partners BGI and Decode Genetics, will use DKK 121 million ($21.5 million) from the Lundbeck Foundation to pursue research into the genetic underpinnings of psychiatric diseases.

The grant to Aarhus University will fund The Lundbeck Foundation's Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, or iPsych, which will engage partners at Aarhus, the Danish Ministry of Health's State Serum Institute, BGI, Decode Genetics, and the Genetic Biobank of the Faroe Islands to study genes involved in psychiatric disorders.

The consortium partners plan to focus their research on five mental disorders: schizophrenia, maniac depression, autism, and ADHD. The partners will use a range of approaches, including genetic, cellular, and population studies aimed at understanding why some patients are affected by these diseases in different ways.

"We will investigate why some people develop mental disorders," Anders Børglum, a professor of Medical Genetics at Aarhus and scientific director for the iPsych project, said in a statement. "We will identify biological disease mechanisms, and we also intend to provide the basis for better treatment and prevention."

He added that the primary goal is to identify causes of the disorders by studying the interplay between genetic and environmental factors, which may help the researchers find new targets for treatment and develop personalized therapies.

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