Amit Anand, MD
Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Director, Psychiatry Translational Clinical Trials, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Director, Mood Disorders Neuroimaging , Massachusetts General Hospital
Better Understanding Brain Abnormalities in Individuals with Bipolar Disorder and Depression

Despite decades of research, the brain abnormalities leading to major psychiatric illnesses such as bipolar disorder and depression still remain unclear.  This lack of knowledge has contributed to the slow development of new treatments for these illnesses. Most currently used psychiatric medications have been found by chance rather than by deliberate scientific discovery.

Our research is seeking to rectify this problem by using advanced imaging methods to identify brain abnormalities in individuals with bipolar disorder and major depression, as well as investigating genetic and epigenetic biomarkers of these illnesses.  Next, we are investigating how the highly efficacious medications discovered by chance, such as lithium, work by measuring their effects in our brain imaging and molecular biomarker studies.  Finally, we apply our translational research findings to large scale pragmatic trials of newly identified medications to ascertain their effectiveness in day-to-day clinical treatment.