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Autoimmune Brain Disorders Program


The NIMH Autoimmune Brain Disorders Program provides care to patients using translational science and a multi-disciplinary approach that facilitates diagnostic clarity, identifies mechanisms of illness, and mobilizes treatment options for individuals with undiagnosed neuropsychiatric conditions.

Services Provided:

  • Consultation: The NIMH Autoimmune Brain Disorders Program provides consultation services for both pediatric and adult patients who are being evaluated in the NIH Clinical Center when a neuroinflammatory or autoimmune condition is suspected as being the cause of their neuropsychiatric symptoms.
  • Admission: Pediatric Psychiatry patients between the ages of 5-17 may be admitted directly to the 1SW inpatient unit in the NIH Clinical Center. For more information: Inflammatory and Infectious Diseases of the Nervous System - Full Text View - 
  • Take a tour of the NIMH Pediatric Psychiatry Unit here .


Dr. Mooneyham, MD, MS is the Medical Director of the NIMH Autoimmune Brain Disorders Program. Dr. Mooneyham is board certified in General Pediatrics, Adult Psychiatry, and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Erin Garth, NP is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with clinical experience in mental health, gastroenterology, and endocrinology.

Brenda Richesson, LCSW is a Clinical Social Worker with extensive experience in individual psychotherapy, mood disorders, anxiety, psychosis, and complex care coordination.

Thomas Houston, RN is the Nurse Manager on the NIMH Pediatric Psychiatry unit.

Our multi-disciplinary team includes pediatricians, psychiatrists, neurologists, nurses, nurse practitioners, neuropsychologists, pharmacists, social workers, psychologists, therapists, and other professionals who work closely together at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Collaborators: Each patient is evaluated by a multi-disciplinary team. We frequently partner with physicians from other institutes in the Clinical Center to include but not limited to NINDS, NIAMS, NIAID, and NHGRI.

NMH Autoimmune Brain Disorders Program