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Toward a new understanding of mental illness - Thomas Insel

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Today, thanks to better early detection, there are 63% fewer deaths from heart disease than there were just a few decades ago. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, wonders: Could we do the same for depression and schizophrenia? The first step in this new avenue of research, he says, is a crucial reframing. (Filmed at TEDxCaltech.)

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As Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Thomas Insel supports research that will help us understand, treat, and even prevent mental disorders. Find out more about the mission and programs of NIMH. Early intervention has resulted in significant progress in treating diseases like cancer and heart disease. In this article, one mom shares how early intervention in bipolar disorder saved her daughter's life. How exactly does the brain -- a 3-pound snarl of nervous tissue -- create inspired inventions, the feeling of hunger, the experience of beauty, the sense of self? In the TED playlist, "How exactly does my brain work?" researchers at the edge of science explain ... In his talk, Thomas Insel talks about early intervention for several brain disorders. The TED playlist "All kinds of minds" shares powerful stories that shatter preconceived notions about mental illness, and pose the provocative question: What can the world learn from different kinds of minds?

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