|NIMH Research Showcased
at APA Meeting
At the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) annual
meeting in Atlanta next week, the National Institute
of Mental Health (NIMH) will showcase advances in translating
new scientific knowledge into improved treatments for
mental disorders. Under the theme "From the Science
of Mental Illness to Clinical Care," this research track
will spotlight NIMH's investment in research relevant
to understanding and treating disorders like schizophrenia
and depression, which rank among the top ten causes
of disability worldwide.
"We need to translate basic science discoveries into
biomarkers, diagnostic tests, and new treatments clinicians
can use to improve the lives of patients with mental
disorders," said NIMH Director Thomas Insel, M.D., who
will be giving an Award Lecture entitled "Psychiatry
in the Genomic Era."
The sessions, which start Monday, May 23, 2005, will
highlight scientific discoveries in the neurosciences
and provide clinicians with insights to improve treatments
for many mental disorders, including effective treatment
approaches for schizophrenia, major affective disorders,
anxiety disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder
and obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders
and a range of childhood conditions. In addition to
Dr. Insel, the NIMH track will feature plenary lectures
by Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel, M.D., Michael Meaney,
Ph.D., Ranja Krishnan, M.D., Bruce McEwen, Ph.D., Robert
Freedman, M.D., and Daniel Weinberger, M.D.
Institute staff Wayne Fenton, M.D., Ellen Stover, Ph.D.,
Mayada Akil, M.D., and Catherine Roca, M.D. designed
the research track to underscore the priority that NIMH
attaches to translational research at multiple levels,
from clinically relevant basic science to clinical trials.
For example, two symposia entitled "Neuroscience for
the Clinician," chaired by Dr. Akil, will familiarize
practitioners with the latest advances in genetics and
functional brain imaging, with potential relevance to
A symposium chaired by Grayson Norquist, M.D., Chairman,
Department of Psychiatry, University of Mississippi
School of Medicine, will discuss findings emerging from
clinical trials of treatments in "real world" settings
for schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, bipolar disorder,
childhood and adolescent depression, and depression
resistant to standard interventions.
The vast range of patient populations and settings
in which psychiatrists work is well-reflected in the
research track. Symposia will present new findings on
targeted, early interventions for treating autism, an
update on pediatric bipolar disorder, both psychopharmacologic
and psychosocial approaches to treatment of eating disorders,
and a review of research advances in late-life disorders.
Among specific advances to be discussed:
- Brain imaging reveals how psychotherapy and antidepressants
affect brain circuitry to lift depression.
- Studies in rats uncover a molecular mechanism by
which nurture can modify nature.
- A suspect gene variant that boosts risk for psychosis
triggers a telltale pattern of brain activity.
- Certain subgroups of teens with depression may respond
better than others to treatment.
"We view our research track at the APA meeting as an
extraordinary opportunity to inform the psychiatric
profession, and the larger mental health field, about
NIMH's commitment to work toward a long-term goal of
personalized care for every individual who lives with
a mental disorder," added Insel.
For complete information about the NIMH research track,
go to: http://www.psych.org/edu/ann_mtgs/am/05/am2005/searchspc.cfm
and select #70 under "topic."
NIMH is one of the 27 institutes and centers at the
National Institutes of Health, the Federal Government's
primary agency for biomedical and behavioral research.
The NIH is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services. Additional information about
NIMH can be found at its Web site, www.nimh.nih.gov.