Concept Clearance » Novel Assays to Address Translational Gaps in Treatment Development

This initiative addresses a translational gap in therapeutic discovery and development that exists between the preclinical screening pipeline and early experimental medicine studies in humans. Support would be provided for collaborative teams focused on developing, evaluating, and optimizing clinically meaningful and biologically-based measures that tap into functional domains to inform therapeutic development. Studies would evaluate the alignment or divergence of measures across preclinical screening and into healthy humans. Ideally, the initiative would illuminate the types of preclinical data and approaches that may be useful (or not useful) in predicting effects in humans based on biological conservation of signaling pathways and circuits, and provide tools needed to test novel therapeutic targets or mechanisms in animals and in humans.
NIMH | Recent Updates

Science News » Common Gene Variants Account for Most Genetic Risk for Autism

Most of the genetic risk for autism comes from versions of genes that are common in the population rather than from rare variants or spontaneous glitches.
NIMH | Recent Updates

Science News » Schizophrenia’s Genetic “Skyline” Rising

The largest genomic dragnet of any psychiatric disorder to date has unmasked 108 chromosomal sites harboring inherited variations in the genetic code linked to schizophrenia, 83 of which had not been previously reported.
NIMH | Recent Updates

Blog Post » Mapping the Risk Architecture of Mental Disorders

In this blog, Dr. Insel describes the results of two new genetics studies and why they are milestones in our understanding of the genetics of autism and schizophrenia.
NIMH | Recent Updates

Concept Clearance » Psychiatric Gene Networks: Solving the Molecular Puzzle of Psychiatric Disorders

This initiative will support the application of cutting-edge computational, bioinformatics, network, predictive modeling, systems biology, and experimental approaches to identify and validate novel genetic factors and molecular networks underlying susceptibility to serious mental illnesses, through leveraging existing diverse multi-scale datasets.
NIMH | Recent Updates

Concept Clearance » Biomarker Development and Validation: Establishing Standards of Evidence for their Context of Use in Clinical Trials

This initiative is intended to encourage the necessary later stages of development and validation of biomarkers with putative value for use in clinical trials, including multi-sites testing and validation for regulatory ‘context of use’ (e.g., diagnostic, enrichment, stratification).
NIMH | Recent Updates

Concept Clearance » Connectome Coordination Facility

The goal of this initiative is to: (1) maintain a central data repository for Human Connectome data; (2) create a helpdesk service to answer questions from investigators who are trying to collect data that are compatible with the existing Human Connectome data; and, (3) to serve, in a limited capacity, as a quality control for new data that are being deposited.
NIMH | Recent Updates

Transplantation of new brain cells reverses memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease model

A new study has revealed a way to alleviate the learning and memory deficits caused by apoE4, the most important genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, improving cognition to normal levels in aged mice. The success of the treatment in older mice, which corresponded to late adulthood in humans, is particularly important, as this would be the age that would be targeted were this method ever to be used therapeutically in people.
Mind & Brain News — ScienceDaily

Seeing the glass as half full: Taking a new look at cognition and aging

From a cognitive perspective, aging is typically associated with decline. But the news isn’t all bad when it comes to cognitive aging, according to new articles recently published. Researchers show how several factors — including motivation and crystallized knowledge — can play important roles in supporting and maintaining cognitive function in the decades past middle age.
Mind & Brain News — ScienceDaily

The Weird, Scary and Ingenious Brain of Maria Bamford

America’s most vulnerable comedian jokes about O.C.D., psych wards, even suicide. Somehow it’s all very funny.

NYT > Health