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Illustration of a DNA helix over top of a human brain
Scientists Map Networks Regulating Gene Function in the Human Brain

An NIMH-funded research consortium has produced the largest and most advanced multidimensional maps of gene regulation networks in the brains of people with and without mental disorders.

Women with her head in her hand holding a crying baby.
Basic Research Powers the First Medication for Postpartum Depression

75th Anniversary

Decades of NIMH-supported basic research led to a pioneering treatment for postpartum depression and continues to power exciting advances in women's mental health care.

Swarm of human immunodeficiency virus. Credit: istock/fpm.
Decades of Dedication and Collaboration: Unraveling the HIV Mystery

75th Anniversary

In celebration of NIMHs 75th anniversary, we reflect on decades of work by the institute to understand and eradicate HIV.

Illustration of an X chromosome cut open to expose a piece of the DNA strand.
Researchers Expand Understanding of Genetic Mechanisms Underlying Fragile X Syndrome

An NIMH-supported study of the 3D genome revealed widespread silencing of genes with important roles in brain function in fragile X syndrome and related disorders.

Spatial distribution of diverse cell types in the mouse brain. Here, MERFISH was used to measure 500 genes in the mouse brain to reveal the complex distribution of cell types throughout the brain. Courtesy of Yao/van Velthoven/Zeng, Allen Institute.
Scientists Unveil Complete Cell Map of a Whole Mammalian Brain

For the first time ever, an international team of researchers has created a complete cell atlas of a whole mammalian brain.

Illustration of abstract brain on blue background.
Scientists Unveil Detailed Cell Maps of the Human Brain and the Nonhuman Primate Brain

A group of international scientists have mapped the genetic, cellular, and structural makeup of the human brain and the nonhuman primate brain, allowing for a deeper knowledge of the cellular basis of brain function and dysfunction, helping pave the way for a new generation of precision therapeutics for people with mental disorders and other disorders of the brain.

Swarm of human immunodeficiency virus.
Blocking HIV Enzyme Reduces Infectivity and Slows Viral Rebound

In this NIMH-funded study, researchers developed a compound that blocked an enzyme critical for forming HIV particles, which stopped the virus from correctly forming and becoming infectious.

Model showing glycine (teal) docking on the receptor GPR158. The dotted lines show contacts glycine molecule forms with GPR158. Courtesy of the Martemyanov lab, The Herbert Wertheim UF Scripps Institute for Biomedical Innovation & Technology.
Researchers Solve the Puzzle of a Brain Receptor’s Activation

Researchers in a NIMH-supported study identified a new receptor for glycine that helps enhance communication between nerve cells in the brain and offers a potential new target for treating mental disorders.

Illustration of communication between neurons.
Newly Discovered Brain Connection Affects Reward Behavior in Mice

NIMH-funded research sheds light on how negative early life experiences may impact how we act in response to rewards, which is often disrupted in people with mental illnesses.

Concept of neurons communicating with an explosion of activity between two neurons.
Researchers Find Order in the Language of the Brain

New research supported by NIMH used mathematical approaches to explain how neurons in the brain communicate over time to support information processing.

Multi-colored brain in space with a dotted background. Courtesy of the Gleeson Lab for Pediatric Brain Disease, University of California San Diego and Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine.
Researchers Unlock Genetic Mutations Contributing to Disorders in the Brain

Researchers identified novel genes with mosaic mutations contributing to treatment-resistant pediatric epilepsy and pointing to specific disrupted pathways in cortical development.

Illustration of white blood cells and red blood cells
HIV Can Persist for Years in Myeloid Cells of People on Antiretroviral Therapy

A subset of white blood cells, known as myeloid cells, can harbor HIV in people who have been virally suppressed for years on antiretroviral therapy, according to findings from a small study supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Close up of a T cell being infected by the HIV virus on its surface
T Cells Help HIV Enter and Persist in the Brain

A recent NIMH-supported study sheds light on the role of a unique set of T cells in trafficking HIV infection into the brain and mediating the virus’ persistence there.

Example of a transplanted human cortical organoid (t-hCO) in the rat cortex. Credit: Revah, O. et al. Nature (2022); Pasca Lab, Stanford
Researchers Develop Method to Study Brain Connectivity, Functionality

Scientists have developed a research method that allows for a much more detailed examination of the brain processes involved in some neurological and mental disorders.

A drawing of parapinopsin, a photoswitchable GPCR that can be turned on using UV light and turned off using amber light. Credit: Copits, B. et al., (2021). A photoswitchable GPCR-based opsin for presynaptic inhibition. Neuron, 109(11), 1791–1809.e11.
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.

3D rendering of a molecule
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.

Image of brain and DNA strands
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.

line drawing illustration of human brain
Mapping ‘Imbalance’ in Brain Anatomy Across the Lifespan

Researchers in the NIMH Intramural Research Program have developed a new way to measure the degree to which the proportions of an individual person’s brain differ from the proportions typically seen in the broader population. This technique yields new insights into brain development and offers tools for further study.

illustration of connected neurons
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.

Illustration of DNA double helix
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.

Image of brain neurons
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.

artistic illustration of a molecular structure
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.

blueprint style line drawing of human brain
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.

Image showing HIV infection of CD4+ T cells in the mouse brain. Human T cells (magenta), human astrocytes (red), HIV (green), nuclei (Blue). Arrows identify uptake of HIV from astrocytes into T cells. Credit: Al-Harthi et al. (2020)
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.

NIMH Strategic Plan logo
New NIMH Strategic Plan Paves the Way for Advances in Mental Health Research

The Strategic Plan for Research advances the Institute’s mission and helps guide future mental health research efforts.

Image showing immunofluorescence of fear-acquisition tagged neurons in the dentate gyrus during spontaneous recovery. Credit: Springer Nature; Lacagnina et al. 2019
Brain Processes Underlying the Extinction and Reactivation of Fear Memories

In a study published in 2019 in the journal Nature Neuroscience, researchers funded by the National Institute of Mental Health investigated the neurobiological changes that occur in the brain circuits of mice when contextual fear memories — fear of a place where an aversive event occurred — are formed and extinguished.

This is an image of neuronal receptors.
Fast-Fail Trial Shows New Approach to Identifying Brain Targets for Clinical Treatments

An innovative NIMH-funded trial shows that a receptor involved in the brain’s reward system may be a viable target for treating anhedonia (or lack of pleasure), a key symptom of several mood and anxiety disorders.

This image shows double-helix DNA strands.
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.

cell-by-cell list of hippocampal activity in rat brain
Reading the Brain’s Map: Coordinated Brain Activation Supports Spatial Learning and Decision-Making

NIH-supported study finds that spatial “replay” in neurons may help rats learn how to navigate toward goals.

illustration of a human brain with magnifying glass held up to show detailed view of forebrain
New BRAIN Initiative Awards Accelerate Neuroscience Discoveries

The NIH has announced its continued support for the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative by funding more than 180 new BRAIN Initiative awards, bringing the total 2019 budget for the program to more than $424 million.

Immunofluorescent stained neurons, astrocytes, and cell nuclei in hippocampal CA3 region of brain
NIH BRAIN Initiative Tool May Transform How Scientists Study Brain Structure and Function

Researchers have developed a high-tech support system that can keep a large mammalian brain from rapidly decomposing in the hours after death, enabling study of certain molecular and cellular functions.

Images of dendritic spine remodeling. Images taken at baseline, after exposure to a stressor (Chronic CORT), and after a single dose of ketamine. Credit: Reprinted with permission from Conor Liston, Science (2019)
Ketamine Reverses Neural Changes Underlying Depression-Related Behaviors in Mice

Researchers have identified ketamine-induced brain-related changes that are responsible for maintaining the remission of behaviors related to depression in mice — findings that may help researchers develop interventions that promote lasting remission of depression in humans.

An illustration of molecules discovered using the mega docking library.
Mega Docking Library Poised to Speed Drug Discovery

Researchers have launched an ultra-large virtual docking library expected to grow to more than 1 billion molecules by next year. It will expand by 1000-fold the number of such “make-on-demand” compounds readily available to scientists for chemical biology and drug discovery.

fear lab trainees with poster at SFN 2018
Puerto Rico’s “Fear Lab” Mentors Neuroscience Rigor amid Diversity

A lineage of young neuroscientists from diverse backgrounds trace their scientific roots to a “fear lab” in Puerto Rico that the National Institutes of Health has been supporting for two decades.

A heatmap shows the amount of time a mouse spent in locations of an open field chamber during optogenetic stimulation of the cerebellar input to the VTA.
New Findings Reveal Surprising Role of the Cerebellum in Reward and Social Behaviors

A new study in rodents has demonstrated, for the first time, that the brain’s cerebellum plays a role in controlling reward and social preference behavior—findings that shed light on the brain circuits critical to the affective and social dysfunction seen across multiple psychiatric disorders.

brain scan showing molecular structure
2,000 Human Brains Yield Clues to How Genes Raise Risk for Mental Illnesses

PsychENCODE researchers are discovering the biological mechanisms by which mental illness risk genes work in the human brain.

video screenshot of Frances Johnson, NIMH trainee
Diversity Training Programs Nurture Research Career

A trainee tells her story of how NIMH/NIH training programs for members of underrepresented groups have nurtured her scientific career.

Image showing pathways from the ipRGCs in the retina to the SCN and the PHb in the brain.
The Pathways Through which Light Affects Learning and Mood

In a new study, researchers have traced the brain pathways responsible for the effects of light on learning and mood. The findings revealed that these effects are brought about by two different and distinct pathways from the retina into the brain.

Mouse preoptic region cell clusters
NIH BRAIN Initiative Debuts Cell Census of Mouse Motor Cortex – for Starters

NIH BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network (BICCN) has debuted its first data release, which focuses on motor cortex. In a related development, researchers have discovered cellular secrets of key social behaviors – mating, parenting, and aggression – in mouse hypothalamus.

An overlay image of the PVT showing the terminals from the locus coeruleus (red) and the neurons that project to the nucleus accumbens (green).
Understanding Critical Components of the Brain’s Stress Circuitry

A new study has revealed more about the organization and function of a brain structure—the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus—that may serve a key role in linking stress detection to the development of adaptive behaviors.

screenshot from Big Brain Perks & Costs video
Bigger Human Brain Prioritizes Thinking Hub – at a Cost

Scientists have discovered that bigger human brains are organized differently than smaller ones.

Risperidone docked in D2 receptor
Molecular Secrets Revealed: Antipsychotic Docked in its Receptor

Scientists have deciphered the molecular structure of a widely-prescribed antipsychotic docked in its key human brain receptor. The discovery may hold clues to designing better treatments for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.

Arc gene can package its genetic material in a virus-like shell for delivery to nearby cells
Memory Gene Goes Viral

A gene crucial for learning can send its genetic material from one neuron to another by employing a strategy commonly used by viruses.

zebrafish brain
Brain’s Alertness Circuitry Conserved Through Evolution

Using a molecular method likely to become widely adopted by the field, researchers have discovered brain circuitry essential for alertness – and for brain states more generally.

Huang PV Basket Cell
NIH BRAIN Initiative Launches Cell Census

The NIH today launched a major effort to discover and catalog the brain’s “parts list.”

multicolored brain scan image
NIH BRAIN Initiative Builds on Early Advances

NIH has announced funding for 110 new awards totaling $169 million for the BRAIN Initiative.

gene illustration
NIH Completes Atlas of Human DNA Differences that Influence Gene Expression

NIH researchers have completed an atlas documenting how DNA influence human gene expression.

female medical professional and patient
NIMH Releases Strategic Research Priorities Update

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recently released its second annual update of the Strategic Research Priorities.

depression-linked gene expression in males, females
Depression’s “Transcriptional Signatures” Differ in Men vs. Women

Brain gene expression associated with depression differed markedly between men and women. Such divergent “transcriptional signatures” may signal divergent underlying illness processes requiring sex-specific treatments.

Epigenomic signatures of neuron subtypes
Breakthrough Method Yields Trove of Neuron Subtypes, Gene Regulators

Scientists have discovered a trove of neuronal subtypes by identifying their unique epigenomic signatures.

Neanderthal gene-influenced brain visual system areas
Our Brains Harbor “Residual Echo” of Neanderthal Genes

Researchers have produced the first direct evidence that parts of our brains implicated in mental disorders may be shaped by a “residual echo” from our ancient past. The more a person’s genome carries genetic vestiges of Neanderthals, the more certain parts of his or her brain and skull resemble those of humans’ evolutionary cousins that went extinct 40,000 years ago.

NIMH Research Domain Criteria
Webinar: RDoC - Fear & Anxiety: From Mechanisms to Implementation

This November 2016 RDoC webinar highlights the role of fear and anxiety in disorders such as phobias and depression.

running horse replayed with Living Cells' DNA
Scientists Replay Movie Encoded in DNA

For the first time, a primitive movie has been encoded in – and then played back from – DNA in living cells. It’s a major step toward a “molecular recorder” that may someday reveal secrets of the developing brain.

Nanopipette sampling a neuron without disturbing function
NIH Names Winners of “Follow that Cell” Phase 2 Competition

Two biological engineering researchers are winners in Phase 2 of NIH’s Follow that Cell Challenge. The winners will share $400,000 in prizes awarded for development of new tools and methods for predicting the behavior and function of a single cell in complex tissue over time – and how that reflects the health of the tissue.

2 adult voles with 5 baby voles
Brain Circuit Tweak Wins Her Affection (if she’s a vole)

For the first time, neuroscientists have boosted a female rodent’s partnering with a male by stimulating connectivity of a brain reward circuit. Understanding the circuitry of such affiliative behaviors may lead to improved treatments for social impairment in severe mental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder.

Diffusion image shows long distance connections in brain of study participant.
Connections Strengthen Within Specialized Networks as Brain’s Executive Function Matures

As we grow up, our brain’s specialized networks become more structurally segregated, contributing to improved executive functioning. These densely interconnected “modules” process information for key functions that underlie development of mental control and self-regulation.

3-D analysis of intact mouse hippocampus
NIMH Grantee Wins One of Science’s Most Coveted Prizes

NIMH grantee Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford University, has been awarded one of science’s most generous prizes. A German foundation presented the inventor of technologies that are transforming neuroscience with its 4 million euros Fresenius Prize.

X-ray image of a blue brain glowing against a black background
NIMH to Host Multimodal Brain Stimulation Speaker Series

Beginning May 31, 2017, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) will launch a speaker series intended to bring together leaders in the field conducting research using non-invasive brain stimulation and functional imaging including EEG, fMRI, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

Thalamus neuron
Brain “Relay” Also Key to Holding Thoughts in Mind

Long overlooked as a mere “relay,” an egg-like structure in the middle of the brain also turns out to play a pivotal role in tuning-up thinking circuity. A trio of studies in mice are revealing that the thalamus sustains the ability to distinguish categories and hold thoughts in mind. It might even become a target for interventions for psychiatric disorders marked by working memory problems, such as schizophrenia.

Fused Forebrain Spheroids - assembled forebrain in vitro
Human Forebrain Circuits Under Construction – in a Dish

Neuroscientists have created a 3D window into the human brain’s budding executive hub assembling itself during a critical period in prenatal development.

light brown mouse
Potential Source of HIV Persistence Confirmed

Scientists have shown that a class of immune cells not thought to be a primary reservoir for HIV can harbor the virus even following antiretroviral treatment (ART).

Neural connections form at the tips of brain cell’s branch-like extensions
Sleep May Trim Neural Connections to Restore Learning Ability

Sleep may be the price we pay for the ability to learn. It streamlines neural connections for optimal efficiency.

LSD in its receptor
Revealed: LSD Docked in its Human Brain Target

Scientists have discovered the molecular structure of LSD in its human brain receptor.

The White House logo
Two NIMH Grantees Receive Prestigious Presidential Award

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) congratulates two NIMH grantees, Mary Kay Lobo from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Eric Morrow from Brown University, who are among the 102 scientists and researchers receiving the 2017 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

Neir Eshel MD, PhD
NIMH Training Grant Recipient Wins Research Prize

NIMH training grant recipient Neir Eshel was named the 2016 Grand Prize winner of the Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists for research related to the cellular basis of learning.

CANE visualized neurons
Molecular Tool Parses Social Fear Circuit Intertwined with Aggression Hub

A genetic engineering tool has disentangled seemingly hopelessly intertwined brain circuits for social fear and aggression in mice.

medical background with magnifying glass examining brain
Worldwide Study Seeks to Unlock the Brain’s Genetic Code

Big data pinpoints genetic variation linked to brain volume and risk for disorders.

Karen F. Berman, M.D.
NIMH’s Karen F. Berman, M.D. elected to National Academy of Medicine

At its annual meeting for 2016, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) announced the election of 79 regular members, including the National Institute of Mental Health’s (NIMH Karen F. Berman, M.D. One of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine, election to the Academy recognizes outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

BRAIN Initiative research
NIH Nearly Doubles Investment in BRAIN Initiative Research

NIH’s third round of grants to support the goals of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative total just over $150 million.

Strategic Research Priorities image
NIMH Releases Strategic Research Priorities Update

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recently released updates to its Strategic Research Priorities.

Laboratory Rat
How “Quickly Forgotten” Early Life Experiences Mature the Brain

Brain memory circuitry’s keen sensitivity to experience during an early critical period enables long-term memory ability to develop through practice.

Kavli lighted neurons
NIMH Grantees Named Recipients of Prestigious Kavli Prize

Three NIMH grantees have been named recipients of the 2016 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience.

map of areas in human cortex
Connectome Map More Than Doubles Human Cortex’s Known Regions

Researchers have mapped 180 distinct areas on our brain’s cortex — more than twice the number previously known.

high resolution brain scan
Human Connectome Project Marks its First Phase

Studies based on a database made available by the Human Connectome Project’s first phase reveal that an individual’s brain connectivity can predict his or her behavior.

The thinker with brain map superimposed
Secrets to Our Smarts Hidden in the Folds of Our Cortex

The more folding in the thinking parts of our brain, the smarter we are – to a degree.

photo of a white mouse against a white background
Distractible Mice Offer Clues to Attention Deficit

A recent NIMH-funded study sheds new light on how the brain’s processing of sensory information, a key impairment in autism and ADHD, can affect higher level cognitive functions, such as attention and decision making.

Brain circuitry and decision making for rats -featured
Circuit for Experience-Informed Decision-Making ID’d in Rats

Scientists have discovered secrets of how the brain recalls experiences of being in a particular location in making informed choices.

a man's hands hold a smartphone
A BRIGHT Technological Future for Mental Health Trials

Is mobile mental health research the next frontier for smartphones? Based on Dr. Patricia Areán’s pioneering BRIGHTEN study, research via smartphone app is already a reality.

HIV-infected T-cells
Experimental Combination Surprises with Anti-HIV Effectiveness

A compound developed by NIH-supported scientists to protect the nervous system from HIV surprised researchers by augmenting the effectiveness of an investigational antiretroviral drug beyond anything expected.

chart illustration of mouse and stimulus
Circuit Tweak Boosts Social Memory in Mice

Researchers have boosted the staying power of a social memory at least 80-fold by stimulating a circuit they discovered in mouse brain.

illustration of neurons firing in brain
Biomarker for Brain Excitability May Help Track Medication Effect

NIMH scientists have recently discovered a link between order in the activity of neurons in the brain and excitability—how likely it is that individual neurons will “fire”— which may provide a means for monitoring treatment of conditions like epilepsy that would be less invasive and thus more versatile than current methods

Side view of large model of human brain
NIH-supported NeuroBioBank Joins Autism BrainNet in Brain Donation Initiative

Two of the world’s largest brain tissue banks unify efforts to collect and distribute a critical number of brain donations for important autism research.

NIMH Twitter Chat
Twitter Chat on Sports-Related Head Injury and Cognitive Decline

Twitter chat on the symptoms, treatments, and research on sports-related head injury and cognitive decline.

Marlin - Lab TV video - featured
Blog, Video Spotlight NIMH Neuroscience Trainee

A recent NIH Director’s Blog and Lab TV video feature a young neuroscientist whose discoveries as a graduate student – about a key maternal behavior – were supported, in part, by a NIMH training grant.

people walking along prison cells New NIH-Department of Justice Study
Embracing the SPIRIT of reducing suicide

NIMH, NIH, and the National Institute of Justice are collaborating on a 4-year, $6.8 million study called Suicide Prevention for at-Risk Individuals in Transition or “SPIRIT.” The study focuses on the high-risk individuals who are transitioning from jail to community. SPIRIT is NIMH’s first major investment in suicide prevention in the justice system.

OnTrackNY logo
Psychosis Treatment Program Expands in New York

New York expanded OnTrackNY, a treatment program for youth with psychosis which is an offshoot of one of the two NIMH-funded Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) studies.

Webinar World Map Blue
Webinar Series – Office for Research on Disparities and Global Mental Health

View the archived webinars with NIMH experts and grantees, which focus on training, research, and methodology

NIMH Google+ Hangouts
Twitter Chat on Cancer and Psycho-Oncology

NIMH and NCI host a Twitter chat on how patients and caregivers, across all ages, can deal with the psychological impact of cancer.

young boys reading book
Boys More Likely to Have Antipsychotics Prescribed, Regardless of Age

Boys are more likely than girls to receive an antipsychotic prescription regardless of age, according to a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry.

man sitting on a bench
Study May Help Department of Veterans Affairs Find Patients with High Risk of Suicide

Scientists used health data to identify very small groups of VHA patients with very high, predicted suicide risk. Such methods can help the VHA to target suicide prevention efforts for patients at high risk, and may have more wide-ranging benefits.

Neurons and supporting cells in the spheroids form layers and organize themselves according to the architecture of the developing human brain and network with each other.  Source: Sergiu Pasca, M.D., Stanford University
A Patient’s Budding Cortex -- in a Dish?

Scientists have perfected mini cultured 3-D structures that grow and function much like the outer mantle – the key working tissue, or cortex – of the brain of the person from whom they were derived.

illustration of the effect of DREADD (Designer Receptors Activated Exclusively by Designer Drugs) bidirectional remote control of a neuron in a mouse brain circuit
Souped-up Remote Control Switches Behaviors On-and-off in Mice

Neuroscientists have perfected a chemical-genetic remote control for brain circuitry and behavior.

Neuronal projections encoding negative (red) and positive (green) associations
Brain Circuitry for Positive vs Negative Memories Discovered in Mice

Neuroscientists have discovered brain circuitry for encoding positive and negative learned associations in mice.

Cover of the new report: Racial/Ethnic Differences in Mental Health Service Use Among Adults
A New Look at Racial/Ethnic Differences in Mental Health Service Use Among Adults

New report on mental health service use among racial/ethnic groups

NIMH Google+ Hangouts
NIMH Google+ Hangout on First-Episode Psychosis

NIMH Google+ Hangout on First-Episode Psychosis

NIMH Strategic Plan for Research
New NIMH Strategic Plan Aims to Focus, Accelerate Mental Health Research

New NIMH Strategic Plan balances the need for long-term investments in basic research with urgent mental health needs.

SCAP Challenge graphic featured
NIH Announces Follow that Cell Challenge Finalists

NIH has selected 5 prize winners and 11 finalists in Phase 1 of its Follow that Cell Challenge, which aims to develop new ways to predict the behavior and function of a single cell in complex tissue over time.

NIMH Twitter Chat
NIMH Twitter Chat on Binge Eating Disorder

Twitter Chat on Binge Eating Disorder

Memory circuit shift
Brain Recalls Old Memories via New Pathways

Brain retrieval circuitry shifts as fear memory ages

NIMH Twitter Chat
NIMH Twitter Chat on Clinical Research Participation

NIMH Twitter Chat on Men and Depression

HIV infecting T-Cell
Seeking Single Cells’ Secrets

NIH has awarded grants totaling $7.9 million in 2014 to 25 research teams who are unraveling the workings of single cells.

Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS)
Soldiers at Increased Suicide Risk after Leaving Hospital

Soldiers hospitalized with a psychiatric disorder have a higher suicide risk in the year following discharge from the hospital.

NIMH Twitter Chat
NIMH Twitter Chat on Seasonal Affective Disorder

NIMH Twitter Chat on Men and Depression

NIMH Twitter Chat
NIMH Twitter Chat on Depression and the Development of Novel Medications

NIMH Twitter Chat on Depression and the Development of Novel Medications

BRAIN Initiative
NIH Announces First Wave of Funding for BRAIN Initiative Research

Calling it “the beginning of an ambitious journey”, the National Institutes of Health announced its first wave of grants in support of the BRAIN Initiative.

fMRI memory circuits
Magnetic Stimulation Boosts Human Memory, Network Connectivity

Scientists have improved memory for associations between faces and words by electromagnetically stimulating neural connections in a brain network.

Suspect Gene Corrupts Neural Connections
Suspect Gene Corrupts Neural Connections

Researchers have shown in patients’ cells how a rare mutation in a suspect gene disrupts the expression of dozens of other genes underlying neural connections.

SCAP Challenge graphic featured
Follow that Cell

The National Institutes of Health is challenging science innovators to compete for prizes totaling up to $500,000, by developing new ways to track the health status of a single cell in complex tissue over time.

NIMH Twitter Chat
NIMH Twitter Chat on Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

NIMH Twitter Chat on Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

new neurons born in adult dentate gyrus
How Might New Neurons Buffer Against Stress?

Over the past decade or so, evidence has emerged suggesting that the birth of new neurons in the adult brain’s memory hub, or hippocampus, may play a key role the action of antidepressants, resilience to stress, the benefits of exercise and enriched environments, and preventing memory loss. But understanding how it might work has remained elusive. NIMH researchers in NIH’s new Porter Neuroscience Research Center are following up leads.

NIMH Twitter Chat
NIMH Twitter Chat on Men and Depression

NIMH Twitter Chat on Men and Depression

NIMH Twitter Chat
NIMH Twitter Chat on Postpartum Depression

NIMH Twitter Chat on Postpartum Depression

excitatory cellular channel
Channel Makeover Bioengineered to Switch Off Neurons

Scientists have bioengineered an enhancement to a cutting edge technology that provides instant control over brain circuit activity with a flash of light. The research adds the same level of control over switching neurons off that, until now, had been limited to switching them on. What had been working through a weak pump now works through a highly responsive channel -- like going from a squirt to a gushing hose.

NIMH Twitter Chat
NIMH Twitter Chat on Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis

NIMH Twitter Chat on Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis

NIMH scientist Jay Giedd, M.D.
Learn About the Adolescent Brain with Expert Dr. Jay Giedd on May 8!

NIMH expert Dr. Jay Giedd will discuss the developing adolescent brain at a community event on May 8. The event will be video archived.

22nd NIMH Conference on Mental Health Services Research
The 22nd NIMH Conference on Mental Health Services Research

The 22nd National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Conference on Mental Health Services Research (MHSR): Research in Pursuit of a Learning Mental Health Care System, will be convened on April 23–25, 2014, at the Natcher Conference Center on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Campus, Bethesda, MD.

BrainSpan Atlas of the Developing Human Brain
NIH-funded Brain Atlas Offers Clues to Psychiatric Disorders

A brain blueprint maps where genes are tuned on and off during mid-pregnancy—when most brain disorders such as autism and schizophrenia occur.

Most Individuals Receive Health Services a Year Before Suicide Death
Most Individuals Receive Health Services a Year Before Suicide Death

Undetected suicide risk is a critical issue in primary care. According to a NIMH-funded study published in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, 83 percent of individuals received health care services in the year prior to suicide death and half did not have a mental health diagnosis.

Disorganized cortical patch
Disorganized Cortical Patches Suggest Prenatal Origin of Autism

The architecture of the autistic brain is speckled with patches of abnormal neurons, according to research partially funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on March 27, 2014.

highlighted CA2 region of hippocampus in mouse brain
Brain Region Singled Out for Social Memory, Possible Therapeutic Target for Select Brain Disorders

The hippocampus houses learning and memory—specifically the storage of knowledge of who, what, where, and when. Using a special transgenic mouse, researchers have now pinpointed a hippocampal region called CA2 that is important for social memory, the ability of animal to recognize another of the same species. Understanding this region could be useful in understanding and treating disorders characterized by altered social behaviors such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism.

Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS)
Suicide in the Military: Army-NIH Funded Study Points to Risk and Protective Factors

Although the suicide attempt and death rates in the U.S. Army have been historically below the civilian rate, these rates began climbing in the early 2000s, and by 2008, exceeded those of civilians. A joint study between the Army and NIMH, called Army STARRS, recently released findings that shed light on the problem.

NIMH Twitter Chat
NIMH Twitter Chat on Eating Disorders

NIMH Twitter Chat on Eating Disorders

National Institute of Mental Health
NICHD/NIMH Podcast on Youth Violence

NIMH/NICHD experts explain what sparks and halts youth violence.