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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

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Pharmacologic and Somatic Intervention and Aging Program


This program supports experimental and observational studies aimed at developing and testing pharmacologic, neuromodulatory, and other somatic interventions for treating, preventing or promoting recovery from the mental disorders of late life. There is particular interest in supporting studies consistent with NIMH’s emphases on clinical innovation and an experimental therapeutics model for clinical trial investigations. Depending on the intervention questions being posed, approaches for use in acute, continuation, or maintenance phases of treatment might be evaluated. The program includes studies of strategies for long-term maintenance of clinical benefits, relapse prevention and enhancement of function/reduction of disability as well as for acute symptom alleviation. Research on the real-world effectiveness as well as efficacy of interventions is supported. Studies may include middle-aged or younger patients as well as older adults when there is a major focus on questions pertaining to the aging process. This program also supports studies of the correlates, predictors, modifiers, and mediators of the variability in older adults’ response to pharmacologic and somatic interventions so as to advance understanding of the interventions’ mechanisms of action and to promote personalization of care.

Areas of Emphasis

  • Mechanisms of action, tolerability, and safety of psychiatric medications and neuromodulatory and other somatic techniques in late-life or aging-related mental illness, as well as age-related changes in mechanisms
  • Studies testing the efficacy of novel pharmacological/somatic treatments or preventive interventions in modifying neurobiological targets or vulnerability pathways implicated in aging-related mental disorders
  • Effectiveness studies of the use of pharmacologic, neuromodulatory, and other somatic interventions to treat late-life disorders in real-world settings or prevent them in at-risk populations


Jovier D. Evans, Ph.D.
Program Chief
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7113, MSC 9634