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and treatment of mental illnesses.

Celebrating 75 Years! Learn More >>

Science News About Treatments

Scrabble pieces spelling out "Ketamine."
Cracking the Ketamine Code

75th Anniversary

NIMH supported science and NIMH researchers helped pave the way for the development of ketamine—a groundbreaking treatment that has improved the lives of those who are impacted by treatment-resistant depression.

Woman holding a burning cigarette.
Helping People With Serious Mental Illness Quit Smoking

In a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and published in JAMA Psychiatry, Gail Daumit, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University, A. Eden Evins, M.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and colleagues developed a tobacco smoking cessation intervention for people with serious mental illness.

Professional looking young woman standing in a conference room while smiling and holding a tablet, with a group of people working in the background.
RAISE-ing the Standard of Care for Schizophrenia: The Rapid Adoption of Coordinated Specialty Care in the United States

75th Anniversary

The Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode research initiative, launched by NIMH to test the effectiveness of coordinated specialty care to treat first-episode psychosis, has transformed the mental health landscape in the United States and helped thousands of people with schizophrenia achieve better outcomes.

Hands resting on the front of a laptop computer keyboard.
Chatbot Encourages People With Eating Disorders to Seek Care

In a new NIMH-funded study, Ellen Fitzsimmons-Craft, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine, and colleagues developed a chatbot to encourage people with eating disorders to connect with care.

Arrow breaking through wall-like barrier.
Breaking Down Barriers to HIV Medication Access

Researchers investigated whether home delivery of ART for a modest fee could help improve ART access and use, finding it resulted in increased viral suppression in participants compared with clinic-based medication distribution.

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Long-acting antiretroviral therapy suppresses HIV among people with unstable housing, mental illnesses, substance use disorder

A long-acting antiretroviral treatment given every four to eight weeks, and delivered with comprehensive support services, suppressed HIV in people who were previously not virologically suppressed.

A health care provider talking with a patient
Brief Cognitive Training May Extend the Antidepressant Effects of Ketamine

An NIMH-supported study suggests that a brief self-association training program can extend the effects of a single ketamine infusion by shifting people’s negative self-beliefs.

A mental health provider talks with a veteran.
Study Shows REACH VET Program Effective for Veterans at High Risk for Suicide

A recent NIMH co-authored study shows that a Department of Veterans Affairs suicide prevention program was associated with fewer inpatient mental health admissions and emergency department visits, and a 5 percent reduction in documented suicide attempts.

Hands typing at a computer
Mindful Mood Balance Effective for Treating Residual Depressive Symptoms and Suicidal Ideation

NIMH-supported researchers have found an online mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy—called Mindful Mood Balance—is effective at reducing residual depressive symptoms and at reducing suicidal ideation in those who experience these symptoms.

Illustrated human head with red spot in the center
New Approach Allows Magnetic Brain Stimulation to Target Deep Brain Structures

TMS can only directly stimulate the outermost layer of the brain, but NIMH researchers have found that mapping a person’s brain architecture may make it possible to guide TMS to deep brain targets.

Enhanced photo of researchers standing and wearing virtual reality headsets to plan DBS implantation.
Personalizing Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression

A recent NIMH-supported study investigated whether deep brain stimulation could be personalized for individuals with treatment-resistant depression.

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NIH, FDA and 15 Private Organizations Join Forces to Increase Effective Gene Therapies for Rare Diseases

The newly launched Bespoke Gene Therapy Consortium (BGTC), part of the NIH Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) program, aims to optimize and streamline the gene therapy development process to help fill the unmet medical needs of people with rare diseases.

 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.

Photo of the arms and hands of a female therapist holding the hands of a young woman.
Improved Emotion Regulation in Dialectical Behavior Therapy Reduces Suicide Risk in Youth

An analysis of clinical trial data shows that improvements in emotion regulation in youth at high risk for suicide who received dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) led to a reduction in self-harm behaviors.

Adolescents taking a selfie
NIH Initiative Expands Access to Resources for Early Psychosis Treatment and Research

The Early Psychosis Intervention Network (EPINET), an NIMH initiative aimed at determining how to best provide treatment for individuals experiencing symptoms of early psychosis, is increasing access to resources for researchers, providers, and families through a growing network of research hubs and a new website.

Using Mobile Technology to Improve Care for Teens with Depression
Using Mobile Technology to Improve Care for Teens with Depression

In a project funded by the NIMH Small Business Technology Transfer program, researchers are investigating whether mobile technology can be used to create a passive monitoring system that can predict teens’ depressive symptoms and improve the quality of their care.

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.

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NIMH Part of Collaborative Effort to Advance Early Intervention for Individuals at Risk of Developing Schizophrenia

NIMH has joined with other NIH Institutes in launching an new Accelerating Medicines Partnership focused on advancing the development of better ways to identify and treat those at clinical high risk for psychosis.

Transforming Mental Health Care Through ALACRITY
Transforming Mental Health Care Through ALACRITY

In 2018, 11.4 million adults in the United States experienced a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, severe bipolar disorder, and severe depression.

Combined Electroconvulsive Therapy and Venlafaxine a Well-Tolerated Depression Treatment for Older Adults
Combined Electroconvulsive Therapy and Venlafaxine a Well-Tolerated Depression Treatment for Older Adults

The use of right unilateral ultrabrief pulse (RUL-UB) electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in combination with the antidepressant venlafaxine to treat depression in elderly patients is well tolerated and results in minimal neurocognitive side effects, according to a new NIH-funded study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

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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.