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Posts by Former NIMH Director Thomas Insel from 2015

Farewell

By Thomas Insel on

In his farewell post, Dr. Insel looks back at six years of the director’s blog and reflects on the tasks ahead in mental health research and practice.

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New hope for treating psychosis

By Thomas Insel on

Results from a major NIMH project provide evidence that coordinated specialty care can improve outcomes for first episode psychosis. Dr. Insel blogs about the RAISE project and other recent studies of coordinated care.

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Look who is getting into mental health research

By Thomas Insel on

Tech companies are bringing their ability to extract knowledge from data to health care. Dr. Insel gives some examples that show the potential of new tech-based approaches to diagnosis and treatment.

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August at NIMH

By Thomas Insel on

Despite its reputation as a month for slowing down, August is busy at NIMH as the end of the fiscal year approaches. Dr. Insel takes time out to give an update on NIMH-supported clinical trials.

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The Brain’s Critical Balance

By Thomas Insel on

The BRAIN Initiative is supporting scientists aiming to understand how the 86 billion neurons in the brain act together to enable consciousness and behavior. Dr. Insel gives a snapshot of recent work and its implications for understanding normal and disordered brain function.

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Quality Counts

By Thomas Insel on

The Institute of Medicine has issued a report looking at the effectiveness of psychosocial treatments for mental disorders. Dr. Insel blogs about the need to ensure that consumers needing treatment receive evidence-based therapies.

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Viewing the STARRS Data

By Thomas Insel on

Last week, two important research events unfolded without fanfare and without headlines. June 30 marked the end of the first phase of Army STARRS, the largest study of mental health risk and resilience ever conducted among military personnel. July 1 marked the release of Army STARRS data for use by the broad scientific community.

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Accentuate the Positive: Rhythm and Blues

By Thomas Insel on

Researchers were able to reverse some of the behavioral effects of stress in mice by stimulating brain cells activated by pleasure. Dr. Insel describes the work and its implications for understanding depression.

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Early BRAIN Breakthroughs

By Thomas Insel on

Dr. Insel blogs about recent breakthroughs from the BRAIN Initiative, which show the promise of what we can accomplish with investment focused on new tool development to better  understand and treat brain disorders.

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Something Interesting is Happening

By Thomas Insel on

Dr. Insel discusses how the Precision Medicine Initiative will create a new kind of patient-driven research, which is similar to how innovative companies have created a new share economy based on trust.

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Training for the Future

By Thomas Insel on

Dr. Insel talks about the importance of incorporating neuroscience in the training of psychiatric residents and a new initiative to do that. The clinician of 2025 will need to know about the science of the brain.

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Mental Health Awareness Month: By the Numbers

By Thomas Insel on

Statistics paint a picture of the impact of mental illness in the United States; Dr. Insel reviews the numbers for Mental Health Awareness Month.

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Crowdsourcing RDoC

By Thomas Insel on

NIMH’s RDoC initiative is in keeping with current interest in precision medicine. In his latest blogpost, Dr. Insel invites the research community to engage in discussion on the RDoC online forum.

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What Caused This to Happen? – Part 2

By Thomas Insel on

A London neuroscientist suggests two kinds of causes for disease; Dr. Insel talks about the implications of this view for understanding mental disorders.

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Targeting Suicide

By Thomas Insel on

Suicide only occasionally makes the national news, but it is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. Dr. Insel talks about the need for research targeted directly at suicide and recent efforts to raise awareness and marshal research.

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A Plan for Changing Times

By Thomas Insel on

NIMH’s new Strategic Plan for Research is a broad roadmap for the Institute’s priorities for the next five years; Dr. Insel provides context and an overview.

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BRAIN Awareness

By Thomas Insel on

March 16-22 is Brain Awareness Week, an opportunity to celebrate neuroscience. Dr. Insel talks about some exciting areas of research underway on the brain.

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Transparency

By Thomas Insel on

Dr. Insel introduces a white paper posted on the NIMH website which provides answers to many of the most common questions NIMH receives about how it makes funding decisions.

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Collaborative Care

By Thomas Insel on

Dr. Insel lauds University of Washington psychiatrist and researchers Wayne Katon and the collaborative care approach for depression he helped develop.

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Mortality and Mental Disorders

By Thomas Insel on

A recent paper reports findings on the reduction in life expectancy among people with mental illness relative to the general population; Dr. Insel discusses the magnitude and reasons for this excess mortality.

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Immune to Stress?

By Thomas Insel on

We tend to assume that the secrets to understanding individual differences in resilience to stress must be sought in the brain. Now, findings in mice suggest that the peripheral immune system might play a pivotal role.

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Precision Medicine for Mental Disorders

By Thomas Insel on

In his latest blog, Dr. Insel discusses precision medicine, which is the new hot topic in research and what it means for mental health.

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The Ignorance Project

By Thomas Insel on

At the recent World Economic Forum, brain research was a hot topic; Dr. Insel reports on statistics presented at the conference that inspire optimism that progress can be made on difficult problems, including mental disorders.

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Funding Science

By Thomas Insel on

Relative to other countries, U.S. funding of science has declined in recent years; Dr. Insel talks about the need for research and development related to mental illness.

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What Caused This to Happen?

By Thomas Insel on

Dr. Insel discusses the idea that chance may have as much to do with the development of mental illness as do genetic and environmental factors.

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