Insel shakes it up at NIMH

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The Network is quickly becoming a fan of Thomas Insel, head of the National Institute of Mental Health. To say that he is shaking things up is an understatement. His recent decision to reorient NIMH research away from DSM categories and support "research projects that look across current categories – or sub-divide current categories – to begin to develop a better system" is a breath of fresh air. In his announcement of this change he says, "What does this mean for applicants? Clinical trials might study all patients in a mood clinic rather than those meeting strict major depressive disorder criteria. Studies of biomarkers for “depression” might begin by looking across many disorders with anhedonia or emotional appraisal bias or psychomotor retardation to understand the circuitry underlying these symptoms. What does this mean for patients? We are committed to new and better treatments, but we feel this will only happen by developing a more precise diagnostic system... and seek better outcomes"

The decision does not come without controversy within the psychiatric community but good for you Thomas Insel for shaking things up in this new era of health care reform and trying to improve the bottom line - clear validity for treatment decisions made. Here is the announcement from the Director's Blog on the NIMH website (website includes references):

Transforming Diagnosis By Thomas Insel on April 29, 2013

Okay Network faithful, what do you think? Here are a couple of articles that weigh in on the controversy:

Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO

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