Psychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia are an enormous cause of disability throughout the world. Yet most current medications are no better than drugs discovered more than half a century ago, and some pharmaceutical companies seem to be giving up. Why has progress in this area been so difficult? Are there any encouraging treatments on the horizon? What new approaches and technologies have the potential to break psychiatric medicine out of this rut?
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Thomas R. Insel
Thomas R. Insel, M.D., is director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the component of the National Institutes of Health charged with generating the knowledge needed to understand, treat, and prevent mental disorders. His tenure at NIMH has been distinguished by groundbreaking findings in the areas of practical clinical trials, autism research, and the role of genetics in mental illnesses.
Steven E. Hyman
Steven E. Hyman, M.D. is the director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Stanley Center works on the genetics of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism, and on putting the genetics to work to understand the molecular mechanisms of disease and to facilitate the development of new therapies.
Greg Miller is the San Francisco, California, news correspondent for Science. He focuses on neuroscience and other areas of biological, behavioral, and social science.