Early Diagnosis and Treatment

Depression like all chronic disease is best impacted when diagnosed early and treated properly. So it is only fitting that the 1st donations from The Chris Rule Foundation go to promoting the identification of depression (Carson J. Spencer Foundation) and a place to go to get high quality treatment (CU Depression Center).

And as we look ahead to future efforts to treat depression, we are making donations to support research that is attempting to bring much-needed innovation to the field.

The Chris Rule Foundation is a major supporter of the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center at the University of Colorado.  The Depression Center is the only comprehensive center of its kind in the Rocky Mountain west, combining the best clinical care for children and families, cutting-edge research and a wide array of community education and suicide prevention programs.  CRF funds have been used in a variety of ways to conduct suicide prevention programs across the state.  In the past year, the Center has delivered suicide prevention programs in diverse settings including Denver Academy, Kent Denver school, multiple businesses and hospitals, community groups in Limon and Ft. Morgan, at community centers throughout the Denver metro area.  Additionally, three Denver karate studios have made completion of the Center’s suicide prevention program a requirement to test for black belt.  The Center is also leading the effort to implement the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention in Colorado; something that no other state has accomplished.  Depression Center staff and faculty are active in Colorado’s suicide prevention community, having served on the boards of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado and the Carson J Spencer Foundation. The video below will introduce you to the powerful work being done by the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center.

Contact the University of Colorado Depression Center at 303-724-3300 and ask for Michale Kernan who is the Intake Coordinator who will arrange for a clinician.  Or for more information ask for Matt Mishkind – Deputy Director.

Advanced Brain Imaging: Stanford University

Science Magazine named Karl Deisseroth’s CLARITY one of the top 10 breakthroughs of 2013.   This new technology will be an important tool  as Karl and many others explore psychiatric and neurologic disease.  See the link  below.

—Science’s top 10 breakthroughs of 2013

CLARITY, a method which renders tissue transparent while leaving it structurally intact is included in Science’s list of the top 10 breakthroughs of 2013. The process was developed by Karl Deisseroth, the D.H. Chen Professor, professor of bioengineering and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and colleagues.


University of Michigan: Progress toward a genetic profile of bipolar disease

New stem cell research on bipolar disorder, conducted by a team of researchers with the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund at the University of Michigan, is helping to uncover the molecular mechanisms underlying this potentially disabling illness. Taking simple skin cells about the size of a pencil eraser, researchers at Michigan have coaxed those cells back to an early developmental state, an “induced pluripotent stem cell”  (iPSC) and then to grow them into nerve cells, creating the first stem cell derived neural lines generated from patients with bipolar disorder. The neurons developed from people with bipolar have different genetic patterns in their membrane receptors.  This affects how neurons react to stimuli and nerve signals.

This suggests that there are fundamental differences in the brains of individuals with bipolar. The implications of this work are profound. This research will lead to fundamental changes in the understanding of the biology and function of the brain. These cell models will allow for the testing of new drugs and treatments and will open the door to a new era of highly personalized medicine and the ability to optimally match treatments to individuals.

“We are very excited about studying cellular mechanisms; this technology brings us to essence of the biology of nerve cells from people with bipolar disorder,” said Melvin McInnis, M.D., the Principal Investigator of the Prechter Bipolar Research Projects.

The mission of the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund is to detect depression and bipolar disorders earlier, treat them more effectively, prevent recurrences and progression, counteract stigma, and improve public policy. For more information, visit www.prechterfund.org

Carson J Spencer Foundation

Carson J Spencer Foundation has created a very innovative and worthwhile online website: Mantheraphy.org.  While directed at men, any individual can visit Mantheraphy and receive a very entertaining presentation of a terribly difficult subject. By answering a series of questions, they can determine if they might be in or in danger of falling into a depressed state.