Neuroscientist and comic-book fan Ahmad Hariri wants to take pictures of the brains of 1,200 Duke undergraduates — can his ambitious idea help us understand how to defeat depression and mental illness? The psychiatric illnesses seem very different — schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, major depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — yet they share several genetic glitches that can nudge the brain along a path to mental illness, researchers report. The genetic dawn of mental illness: A genetic event 550 million years ago appears to have set the stage for our mental illnesses today. Scott Kellogg and Andrew Tatarsk on how addiction is a mental illness — treat it that way. Owen Whooley on what the proliferation of recognized mental disorders means for American health care. Among the vulnerable populations Friday's automatic cuts affect, the mentally ill will be among the hardest hit.

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