Progress for Goal 1
Learn about the progress NIMH has made toward Goal 1 of the NIMH Strategic Plan for Research: Define the Brain Mechanisms Underlying Complex Behavior.
- Tool Uses Light to Inhibit Neural Activity in Mice
Researchers supported by NIH have developed a way to genetically insert a type of light receptor into neurons. The new technique enables the researchers to suppress the neuron’s activity using pulses of light.
- Autism and Congenital Heart Disease Share Underlying Molecular Network
A recent study of gene networks may hold some promising clues about shared mechanisms underlying autism spectrum disorder and congenital heart disease, two physiologically distinct disorders that often co-occur.
- NIH BRAIN Initiative Unveils Detailed Atlas of the Mammalian Primary Motor Cortex
The NIH Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative Cell Census Network (BICCN) has unveiled an atlas of cell types and an anatomical neuronal wiring diagram for the mammalian primary motor cortex, derived from detailed studies of mice, monkeys, and humans.
- Genomic Data From More Than 41,000 People Shed New Light on Bipolar Disorder
In the largest genome-wide association study of bipolar disorder to date, researchers found about twice as many genetic locations associated with bipolar disorder as reported in previous studies. These and other findings help improve our understanding of the biological origins of bipolar disorder.
- Eating Disorder Behaviors Alter Reward Response in the Brain
A new NIMH-supported study found that eating disorder behaviors alter the brain’s reward response process and food intake control circuitry, which can reinforce the behaviors.
- NIMH’s Dr. Andrea Beckel-Mitchener Named Deputy Director of NIH BRAIN Initiative
Andrea Beckel-Mitchener, Ph.D., has been named deputy director of the trans-NIH Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.
- New Experiences Enhance Learning by Resetting Key Brain Circuit
A study of spatial learning in mice shows that exposure to new experiences dampens established representations in the brain’s hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, allowing the mice to learn new navigation strategies.
- Gene Readouts Contribute To Distinctness of Mental Disorders
A new study conducted by researchers at NIMH suggests that differences in the expression of gene transcripts – readouts copied from DNA that help maintain and build our cells – may hold the key to understanding how mental disorders with shared genetic risk factors result in different patterns of onset, symptoms, course of illness, and treatment responses.
- NIH-funded Study Sheds Light on Abnormal Neural Function in Rare Genetic Disorder
A genetic study has identified neuronal abnormalities in the electrical activity of cortical cells derived from people with a rare genetic disorder called 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.
- Genetic Variations Highlight the Importance of Metabolic Processes in Anorexia
The need to identify effective targets for intervention in anorexia nervosa is pressing, as patient outcomes are often poor. An NIMH-funded genome-wide association study suggests that metabolic processes may play an important role in the disorder, offering a promising new avenue for investigation.
- Study Shows Highly Reproducible Sex Differences in Aspects of Human Brain Anatomy
A scientific analysis of more than 2,000 brain scans found evidence for highly reproducible sex differences in the volume of certain regions in the human brain.
- Brain Cells Can Harbor and Spread HIV Virus to the Body
Researchers funded by NIMH have found that astrocytes, a type of brain cell, can harbor HIV and then spread the virus to immune cells that traffic out of the brain and into other organs.
- Large-Scale Genetics Study Sheds Light on Developmental Origins of Autism
Researchers were able to identify different types of rare genetic variations associated with autism spectrum disorder by analyzing data shared via the NIMH-funded Autism Sequencing Consortium.