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and treatment of mental illnesses.

Science News About Treatments

 A high-powered black and white microscope image showing exosomes, nanosized parts of cells. (Credit: Surya Shrivastava / City of Hope
Researchers Use Exosome-Based Strategy to Block HIV in Mice

In this NIMH-funded study, researchers used exosomes to deliver novel protein into the cells of mice infected with HIV. The protein attached to HIV’s genetic material and prevented it from replicating, resulting in reduced levels of HIV in the bone marrow, spleen, and brain.

Dr. Carlos Zarate
NIMH’s Carlos Zarate Jr., M.D., Elected to National Academy of Medicine

Carlos Zarate Jr., M.D., chief of the Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch within the NIMH Intramural Research Program, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

illustration of a human head with braiwaves superimposed at the top
Neural Signature Identifies People Likely to Respond to Antidepressant Medication

NIH-funded research uses machine learning algorithm to predict individual response to a commonly-prescribed antidepressant.

doctor standing by IV pole
Side Effects Mild, Brief with Single Antidepressant Dose of Intravenous Ketamine

A single, low-dose ketamine infusion was relatively free of side effects for patients with treatment-resistant depression.

a group of young people sits on grass in the sun
NIH Announces Funding Awards for National Early Psychosis Learning Community

NIMH awarded six research grants for studies to develop a learning health care system for the treatment of early psychosis.

mom holding baby with pacifier
Bench-to-Bedside: NIMH Research Leading to Brexanolone, First-Ever Drug Specifically for Postpartum Depression

FDA approval of the postpartum depression treatment brexanolone represents the final phase of a bench-to-bedside journey for this drug — a journey that began in the NIMH Intramural Research Program. NIMH experts are available to provide information on postpartum depression and the importance of, and the science underlying, this new drug.

People standing in a circle, reaching into the middle and placing their hands on top of one another.
Studies Support Use of Team-Based Care for Early Psychosis

Two recent studies add to the evidence that team-based early intervention services are feasible in real-world health care settings and result in improved outcomes for patients.

A close-up of a doctor writing a prescription and holding a bottle with medication in it.
Team-based Care Optimizes Medication Treatment for First Episode Psychosis

Findings from NIMH’s Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) project indicate that team-based coordinated specialty care (CSC) for first episode psychosis (FEP) results in more optimal prescribing of antipsychotics and fewer side effects when compared with typical community care.

hand holding pen writing on tablet
A Shorter—but Effective—Treatment for PTSD

Research supported by the National Institute of Mental Health has shown that a shorter therapy (written exposure therapy) may be just as effective as lengthier first-line treatments for PTSD.

teen girl sitting on couch with arms crossed
Therapy Reduces Risk in Suicidal Youth

A recent clinical trial of a psychotherapy called dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)—which has been shown to be effective in reducing suicide-related behavior in adults—showed that DBT can also reduce suicide attempts and suicidal behavior in adolescents.

An image showing the internal structure of the brain
Delay in HIV Treatment Associated with Brain Atrophy

People infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, known as HIV, display reductions in brain volume compared with people who are not infected with HIV, but now an NIMH-funded study has shed light on the course of this deterioration and shows that antiretroviral treatment started in the first few years of infection may stop these brain changes.

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.

PANDAS happy children running outside
Guidelines published for treating PANS/PANDAS

An expert panel has published guidelines for treatment of Pediatric Acute Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) and a subset of patients diagnosed with PAN Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infection (PANDAS).

Brain imaging Fonzo
Imaging Pinpoints Brain Circuits Changed by PTSD Therapy

Using brain imaging to track the effects of treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), scientists have identified a brain circuit on which a frequently used and effective psychotherapy (prolonged exposure) acts to quell symptoms. The findings help explain why the neural circuit identified is a promising target for additional treatment development, including brain stimulation therapies.

teens sitting on stairs
Pediatrics-based Brief Therapy Outdoes Referral for Youths with Anxiety and Depression

A streamlined behavioral therapy delivered in a pediatrics practice offered much greater benefit to youth with anxiety and depression than a more standard referral to mental health care with follow-up in a clinical trial comparing the two approaches.

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.

hand holding a paper prescription
Prescribing Patterns Change Following Direct Marketing Restrictions

A study of how policies restricting pharmaceutical promotion to physicians affect medication prescribing found that physicians in academic medical centers (AMCs) prescribed fewer of the promoted drugs, and more non-promoted drugs in the same drug classes, following policy changes to restrict marketing activities at those medical centers.

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.

ESC/E(Z) gene complex
Sex Hormone–Sensitive Gene Complex Linked to Premenstrual Mood Disorder

Researchers have discovered molecular mechanisms that may underlie a woman’s susceptibility to disabling irritability, sadness, and anxiety in the days leading up to her menstrual period.