Research News

To ensure that we are providing the best and most current information to our members, NAMI monitors current research across the field of mental health. On this page, you can find up-to-date information from government organizations like the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), private institutions like the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, and academic and industry researchers.  

For more new stories from the National Institute of Mental Health, please visit their Science News website.

For more new stories from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, please visit their Newsletter website.

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Mouse Models Show Evidence for Ketamine as a Long-Lasting Antidepressant

Apr 11 2019
Researchers have previously shown that ketamine is effective for immediate, short-term treatment of suicidal ideation and symptoms of depression. A new study in mice shows that ketamine causes physical changes in brain cells, potentially supporting sustained remission. Mice who exhibit depressive behavior experience rapid loss of “dendritic spines”—parts of brain cells that are necessary for chemical signaling. When treated with ketamine, the mice showed improvements in behavior within three hours and regrowth of dendritic spines within 24 hours. These findings bring us closer to understanding what lasting remission of depression in humans may look like. To learn more, please visit the NIMH website.

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New Resources: Complementary Health Approaches for Children and Teens

Mar 21 2019
The use of complementary health practices and products by children and teens has significantly increased in recent years. Yoga, meditation and the use of natural products like fish oil, melatonin and probiotics may be prescribed or self-selected for common conditions such as anxiety or stress, ADHD and insomnia. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a division of the National Institutes of Health, has created a new resource page for parents and youth interested in complementary health practices. To learn more, please visit the NCCIH website.

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First-Ever Drug for Postpartum Depression Approved Thirty Years After Groundbreaking Discovery

Mar 19 2019
Approximately 1 in 9 women in the United States experiences symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD). Fortunately, research uncovered the biological causes of PPD and lead to the development of a specific treatment. As one part of a major research project funded by the National Institute of Mental Health in the 1980s, researchers discovered that the hormone metabolite allopregnanolone interacts with the neurotransmitter GABA to trigger the symptoms of PPD. After years of further study and clinical trials, the FDA has approved Zulresso (brexanolone), the first-ever drug to specifically treat postpartum depression. To learn more, please visit the NIMH website.

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