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Experimental Therapeutics & Pathophysiology Branch (ETPB) and Section on the Neurobiology and Treatment of Mood Disorders

The Experimental Therapeutics & Pathophysiology Branch (ETPB) is part of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a major research component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The ETPB conducts clinical research studies on mood disorders (including: major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder) with the goal of creating better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat mental illness.

Researchers at NIMH that specialize in Mood Disorders seek through RESEARCH STUDIES to:

  • DEVELOP medications that rapidly decrease symptoms of depression
  • IDENTIFY biological characteristics (biomarkers)
  • Better PREDICT with biomarkers who might respond to medications and treatments
  • UNDERSTAND the mechanisms in the brain that are causing depression and response to treatments

At NIMH, research studies on mood disorders investigate how the depressed brain works, with a primary focus on the glutamate and cholinergic systems. Understanding how experimental medications may work to quickly lift severe and hard-to-treat depressive symptoms may lead to development of new, faster-acting treatments. Researchers at the ETPB also seek to understand what makes some people more likely to develop mood disorders.