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What is the Institute?

When did the Institute begin?
Why does the Institute focus on children?
Who develops mental disorders?
When should the Institute be contacted?

What is the Institute?

The Institute for Children’s Mental Disorders is a non-profit 501(c)(3) private foundation established to support cutting-edge molecular and neurobiological research that further advances the detection and treatment of mental disorders in children while ultimately seeking ways to prevent mental illness.

Mental disorders research conducted by the Institute is done in many of the same ways as other diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes – using DNA sequencing, magnetic resonance imaging, and intracellular physiological measures.

When did the Institute begin?

The Institute for Children’s Mental Disorders was established in 1999 by Denver-based philanthropists Jerome Kern and Mary Rossick Kern. The Kerns recognized the need to increase financial support for mental disorders prevention research, to raise public awareness and understanding of mental illness, and to improve clinical and pharmacological treatments for individuals afflicted by mental disorders.

Why does the Institute focus on children?

The biological characteristics in the brain that cause mental illness are present during fetal development, although the illnesses themselves may not become apparent until adolescence. Early detection and treatment can help children before they are recognized as ill. Current research suggests that it may be possible to prevent or reduce the occurrences of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia through prenatal and newborn care. There are four million individuals currently living with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and 200,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S. alone.

One in five families (7 out of every 100 children) are impacted by significant mental disorders including attention deficit disorder, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, and dyslexia. Some genetic factors and brain functions may be common to several of these disorders and the Institute research looks at the possibilities for all mental disorders together.

Who develops mental disorders?

Mental disorders are no different from other inherited traits, such as height or intelligence. Each parent contributes genes that cause parts of the body, in this case the brain, to develop and grow in different ways. Most of the population carries one or more genes that may lead to mental disorders. These genes by themselves are not destructive, but in certain combinations they can cause severely disabling disorders.

When should the Institute be contacted?

• Finding the causes of mental illness through research is important to you
• Clinical trials and pilot project participation are of interest
• You want to help develop new and better treatments
• You believe that every child deserves a healthy brain

 
Institute for Children’s Mental Disorders
Mailstop F546, 13001 East 17th Place, Building 500, Room C2000B, Aurora, CO 80045
Phone: 303.724.4955 • Fax: 303.724.4956 • Email