Our History

Jonathan Swift was an English satirist, political commentator and cathedral dean who lived and wrote in the 18th and 19th centuries. He was fifty years old before his classic, “Gulliver’s Travels,” was published. He is also the father of the overused phrase, “Necessity is the Mother of Invention.”It is also unlikely that Pat Elwell was thinking about an overused phrase when he talked of his frustration with friends some ten years ago. A family member needed help for depression, but finding the right combination of medication and counseling seemed impossible.

For some six years, Pat confided in friends who had similar frustrations with mental health care delivery system. One thing became clear to him – that just about everyone he had encountered either had a family member or someone close to them who suffered some form of mental illness or emotional disorder. In fact, he found that more people suffered from one of the many disorder under the mental illness umbrella than suffered from any other major disease, research spending on finding cures and treatments was lowest for mental illness. That revelation resulted in Pat calling his friends together.

It was a cool evening in late 1992 that a handful of caring, concerned citizens began meeting in a back room of Patrick’s Restaurant on Auburn Road in the shadow of the Silverdome. Some had family members with mental illness and others were interested professionals or simply people who realized a need and wanted to help. “NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION.” Jonathan Swift was right.

It didn’t take long to establish the goal of this fledgling group…raise money for brain research and erase the stigma that discourages donation for this cause. It was quickly decided that MIRA, Mental Illness Research Association, would be the name, and a major fund raiser was set for the fall of ’93. What amazes the original founders of MIRA is that unseasoned volunteers came together and succeeded in raising $100,000. That success strengthened MIRA’s resolve to pump much needed funds into mental illness research, specifically in Michigan.

It took Jonathan Swift many year to write “Gulliver’s Travels.” Pat Elwell and his friends took only a few years to create MIRA with its purpose of funding research. Anything worthwhile takes time, and MIRA is a prime example of a noble effort targeted at an extremely deserving cause – bringing a quality of life back to the 40 million Americans who are afflicted with emotional disorders or mental illness.

MIRA truly is the child of necessity. Public funding for mental illness research is dwindling. With your help, we can maintain and accelerate the rate of scientific progress in this area.

M.I.R.A. Founders

Research History

Alzheimer’s—Brain Production of Copper-Binding Protein
Sinai Clinical Neuroscience Center – 2 Year Grant
Peter Lewitt, MD – David Loeffler, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Neurofeedback Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children
A Double-Blind Placebo Controlled StudyWayne State University School of Medicine
John DeLuca, Ph.D.

Autism—A PET Scan Study of Serotonin Production
Children’s Hospital of Michigan – 4 Year Grant

Harry Chugani, MD – Diane Chugani, Ph.D.

The Autism Clinical Research Program
Children’s Hospital of Michigan – 3 Year Grant
(A MIRA/Pheasant Ring Funded Project)
Harry Chugani, MD – Diane Chugani, Ph.D.

Bi-Polar Disorder—Quantification of Monoaminergic Synaptic Density in Bi-Polar Disorder, Type I and II
(In conjunction with The Arthur Forest Tull II Memorial Fund)
University of Michigan Medical Center
Jon-Kar Zubieta, MD, Ph.D

Depression—Treatment Resistant Depression with PMS
Wayne State University
Alan Rosenbaum, MD

Reduction of Morbidity From Depression By Reversal of Brain Morphologic Changes
University of Michigan Medical Center
John F. Greden, MD

Geriatric Depression—Use of Depakote and Atypical Antipsychotics in Elderly Agitated Depressed Patients
Psychopharmocology Research, Inc.
Alan Rosenbaum, MD

PANDAS

MIRA-Chugani-Headshot.png

Harry T. Chugani, MD

Some children develop sudden onset jerking movements of the arms and legs (tics) and severe behavioral changes, such as obsessive-compulsive and oppositional behaviors, emotional instability, cognitive disturbances and hyperactivity, following infections, such as “strep throat” with group-A beta-hemolytic streptococcus, etc. This condition is known as Pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS).

 

Not much is known about the exact cause of this disease, though people suspect inflammatory involvement of the brain, particularly basal ganglia (central part of the brain involved in movement and behavior). Therefore, we used positron emission tomography (with a special probe [11C]-PK11195, which can detect brain inflammation) to evaluate brain inflammatory changes in 17 PANDAS children (mean age: 11.4 years; 13 males). We found inflammatory changes in basal ganglia in these children. We also found that inflammatory changes were higher in older children and decreased with time, particularly after anti-inflammatory treatment such as intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg).

Post Stroke Depression

Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the United States. It is estimated that about one-third of stroke patients develop Post-Stroke Depression (PSD)- making it one of the most common complications of stroke. If not screened, patients with PSD are more often undiagnosed and untreated. Untreated PSD leads to a further deterioration in quality of life, which affects recovery of one’s strength and disability after a stroke, makes the individual more prone to death and results in significant caregiver stress. There is a critical need to identify the sub-group of stroke patients at a high risk of developing PSD, and detect and treat PSD. The Wayne State University Comprehensive Stroke Program; comprised of a team of 7 neurologists, critical care specialists, stroke fellows, research nurses and nurse coordinators, is looking to develop a program where PSD can be detected early- at one to three months), and initiate early treatment, thereby improving the chances of a better recovery and an enhanced quality of life. Funds provided by MIRA will help the Comprehensive Stroke Clinic establish a program to address PSD in a systematic and timely manner.

Elaine Baker
Pres. & Gen. Mgr. 104.3 WOMC – Retired

 

Len Barnes
Editor, Michigan Living – Retired
Emeritis

Henry Baskin, Esq.
Henry Baskin, PC

 

Doris Biscoe
Doris Biscoe Communications, Inc.

Michael Boyle III, DO
Maplegrove Center

William & Jane Broomfield
US Congressman – Retired

Ron Campbell
Vice President Detroit Pistons

 

Jeffrey Cauley
Jack Cauley Chevrolet

 

Rev. Dr. Richard Cheatham
Franklin Community Church – Retired

 

Jim Clayton
General Mgr. WJBK – Fox2

 

Rev. Fr. Leonte Copacia, Jr.
St. Raphael of Brooklyn Orthodox Mission Parish

 

David Olen M.D.
Psychiatrist and MIRA’s original medical director

 

Ray Elliot
Elliot & Sons Insurance

 

Patrick Elwell
Owner – Patrick’s Restaurant

 

Alan Frank
Vice Pres. & General Mgr., WDIV TV4

 

John F Greden, MD
Chairman Dept. of Psychiatry, U of M

 

Most Rev. Bernard J. Harrington, D.D.
Bishop of Winona

 

Msgr. Dennis Harrity
Our Lady Star of The Sea Catholic Church – Retired

 

Rev. Philip Hemke
Our Beautiful Savior Lutheren

 

Rev. Fr. Demitrios Kavadas
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church – Retired

 

Daniel J. Kelly
Senior Partner Deloitte & Touche – Retired

Hon. Joseph Knollenberg
US House of Representatives

 

Rev. Arnold Kostco
Prince of Peace Catholic Church – Deceased

 

John Dankworth & Cleo Laine
Entertainers

 

V. Joseph Laramie
Heiniburg Thailand Co., Ltd

Cheryl Lippert
KPMG Consulting Partner

 

Calvin Lipitt
CEO, Select Care HMO – Retired

 

William Morgan
Senior Vice Pres. Elias Brothers

 

Marianne Nestor
St. Joseph Mercy – Retired

 

Robert C. Nestor, DO
Orthopedic Surgeon – Retired

 

Rev. Richard Osebold
St. John Bosco Catholic Church

 

L.. Brooks Patterson
Oakland County Executive - 
Deceased

 

Rev. John Leo Phalen
St. Joseph Catholic Church

 

Peppino Puleo
Retired

 

Dick Purtan
Radio Disc Jockey – Retired

 

Fred Raznik
Vice Pres. Vlassic Foods – Deceased

 

James A. Reiter, Esq.
Charfoos, Reiter, Peterson, Holmquist & Pilchak, PC

 

Gary Russi, Ph.D.
President, Oakland University

 

Thomas G. Sawyer, Esq.
Hutson, Sawyer, Chapman & Reilly

 

Chuck Schmidt
President, Joe Schmidt Sales, Inc.

 

Russell & Cathy Shelton
Shelton Pontiac, Buick, Inc.

 

Gary Stolicker
Oakland Press – Retired

 

Msgr. Anthony Tocco
St. Hugo of the Hills Catholic Church

 

M. Diane Vincent
VBH Square Lake – Retired

 

Ki & Marian Voog
Mitchell Buick Sales, Inc

 

Tom Wilson
President Detroit Pistons

 

John Williamson
Cranbrook Insurance Agency