The Caroline T. Briggs Charitable Trust has given $436,000 to the Psychiatric Research Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Briggs, a native of Pine Bluff, died in 2016 at the age of 92.


The gift will fund additional research into schizophrenia, a serious mental disorder that can cause hallucinations, delusions and a loss of touch with reality, according to a news release.


The donation from the Briggs Trust was delivered Dec. 19 by representatives of the trust and Simmons Bank to Pedro Delgado, M.D., director of the institute and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry in the UAMS College of Medicine.


“We are very grateful for this gift, which I think will go a long way toward making a difference in the lives of people with schizophrenia,” Delgado said. “This will allow us to develop a program that focuses on an area where, until now, we’ve had a gap in our research portfolio. We will be able to bring in some new researchers in the field as well as involve some of our younger faculty members to grow this program.”


The trust is overseen by Simmons Bank. The bank’s Cathy Brazeale, a vice president and trust officer, and Laura Parrish, a trust officer, represented the Briggs trust during the presentation. Brazeale and Parrish later toured the institute to learn more about its research efforts. Sites included the transcranial magnetic stimulation suite, the Walker Family Clinic and the Brain Imaging Research Center.


According to the National Institutes of Health, about 1 in 100 people in the United States have schizophrenia, which affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves, according to the release.


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