NIMH Director to Discuss Advances in Treating Major Depression

The NIMH: Programs, Priorities, and Plans
  • Monday, April 27, 2020
  • 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Joshua Gordon

NIMH Director, Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., has planned an interactive session for APA’s Annual Meeting so that he can learn directly from APA members about their views and priorities for research.

The Food and Drug Administration approval of the fast-acting medications esketamine and brexanolone in March 2019 symbolized a significant leap forward in the treatment of major depression, but challenges remain.

“Due to risks associated with each drug, patients can’t simply pick up a prescription for esketamine or brexanolone at their local pharmacy,” said Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in comments submitted to Psychiatric News. Instead, patients must receive the medications under the supervision of a health care professional in a certified medical office.

“The hard work of trying to harness the full potential of these medications and other available treatments continues apace,” Gordon continued. Still, the journey of esketamine and brexanolone offers a compelling tale of how NIMH-supported bench-to-bedside research can advance the understanding of the brain and lead to therapeutic breakthroughs. The story of these drugs, as well as NIMH’s ongoing research efforts in depression, will be a focus of Gordon’s presentation titled “The NIMH: Programs, Priorities, and Plans” at the APA Annual Meeting.

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