An ongoing grant project in which the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) will invest $10 million in four short-term projects brings to fruition research efforts that had identified significant differences in the occurrence of depressive episodes across subjects in the general population. The team will further explore how diverse biological, psychiatric, and biological systems interact in the brain to contribute to depression. This strategy will allow for the diagnosis of multiple forms of depression—the vast majority of which remain uncharacterized.
The National Institute of Mental Health is fortunate to work alongside such an elite organization, NIMH, to build a research enterprise focused on understanding biological and mental health systems in order to help combat the many complex and life-threatening disorders that affect people of all ages, under different contexts, and all stages of their lifespans.
The long-term project is ‘Memes to Relate’, funded by Performance of Science Consortium, a New Zealand Government agency, which will be powered by the ongoing grant program in NIMH and partner institutions.
‘Patient-Chosen Insights Exploratory Field Researchers’ set out to fill the gaps left by a lack of robust approaches to depression. Whereas the full-scale effort to characterize the biological and psychiatric mechanisms underlying the threads of connection between the brain, brain systems, and mood resulting from genetic, environmental, and other means of addiction is underway, they wanted to delve into the other 99% of cases where there was, in most cases, limited interaction between a particular brain system and mood at all. For instance, one of the key subgroups was comprised of disorders related to brain systems related to somatosensation (memory and thinking about the timing of actions and occurrences of events), emotion regulation, and reward-related behavior.
Their analysis, which will make findings available through the Hofstra Center for Excellence in Depression Research at NIMH and to Midwest Healthy England and the Hunter College Centers for Healthy Minds Study launches, will use the Socratic Impressor, a minimally invasive brain surgical technique that gives a precise probe of the brain’s sensory system, and their forager H-shaped prosthetics will leverage this unique set of brain systems.