Conference: Mental Health Experts Share Treatment Innovations For Depressions, Bipolar Illnesses


National Network of Depression Centers Annual Conference, Oct. 22-24, University of Illinois at Chicago. 

Thomas Insel, MD, director, National Institutes of Mental Health, keynote speaker.

Ann Arbor, Mich…One in six Americans has firsthand experience with depressions, bipolar illnesses or other mood disorders. Researchers with the National Network of Depression Centers (NNDC), a network of 21 leading clinical and academic centers of excellence, will share research and treatment advancements for these conditions at the 2014 NNDC Annual Conference, Depressions and Bipolar Illnesses: Accelerating Dissemination of Innovations, October 22-24, 2014, at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“The goal of the NNDC conference is to accelerate adoption of evidence-based innovations, putting research findings and new treatment protocols for depressions in the hands of clinicians,” said John Greden, M.D., founding chair, NNDC, and executive director, University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center. “NNDC’s upcoming conference is a forum for neuroscience and clinical investigators and clinicians to come together to share cutting-edge knowledge about treatment advances.  Such exchanges are the best way to translate advances rapidly to practitioners and the public.”

Thomas Insel, M.D., director of the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), will be the keynote speaker. Insel, a neuroscientist and psychiatrist with outstanding credentials will address the relevance of recent breakthroughs, the most-promising developments in the pipeline and the future of NIH research priorities and funding.

Highlights of the conference include discussion of

  • Chronotherapy, using light and darkness, sleep and movement, in anti-depression treatment
  • Co-occurrences of illnesses, such as increased risk of depressive disorders among those with cancers
  • Glutamate interventions, such as ketamine treatments, for treatment-resistant depressions
  • Biomarkers including neuroimmune markers laboratory tests in depression and those at risk for suicide
  • Perinatal depression research
  • Mood (Disorders) Patient-Powered Research Network, a national  PCORI[1] project
  • Personalizing treatment using iPSC,  Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells


Page 2/NNDC Conference

  • Deep brain stimulation
  • New approaches for determining which medications can and cannot be tolerated

Conference participants also will learn about the NNDC Patient Registry, a comprehensive national clinical data registry to improve the care of patients and enable large-scale longitudinal research studies such as those that have aided cancer treatments.

The Patient Registry collects patient outcomes data using standardized measures from the NNDC’s 21 academic and clinical member sites across the country. The data collected in the registry will be used to support ongoing research, grant, publication, and collaborative ventures, and will assist in the development of new treatments.

“As a nation we are woefully lagging in the best approaches to confront depressions and suicides as the public health crises that they are,” said Greden. “We must learn from tragedies such as Robin Williams’ death. The fact that there are an estimated 40,000 suicides in the U.S. annually is a mandate for public-private partnerships and increased support of potentially life-saving research.” Greden also points out that depressions and bipolar illnesses have different causes so “one size treatment will never fit all.”  “We have innovative scientific tools to combat depressions including pharmacogenomics, inflammatory markers, brain imaging, and more,” Greden said, “but new dissemination models are needed.  Fortunately, such models are being launched.”

Designed for professionals involved with depressions and bi-polar illness – from scientific researchers to clinicians including physicians and counselors – the Conference is open to non-NNDC members. A maximum of 9.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) TM is available. For further information and registration, visit or call: (734) 332-2914.

# # #

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago and the National Network of Depression Centers. The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago designates this Live Activity for a maximum of 9.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with their participation in the activity.

# # #

The National Network of Depression Centers (NNDC) is a not-for-profit network of the nation’s leading depression centers and academic medical centers in the field of mood disorders. Established in 2008, NNDC member sites include more than 500 researchers and clinicians at 21 leading institutions across the U.S. including the University of Illinois at Chicago, host site for the 2014 conference.



[1] Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute