The Center for Brain Research in Mood Disorders (C-BRiMD) was launched in July 2016 with the generous support of a $5 million endowment from anonymous donors.  The center leverages the intellectual and physical resources of the Department of Psychiatry and the greater neuroscience community at Washington University as a multidisciplinary, state-of-the-art research and clinical program focused on severe mood and anxiety disorders. C-BRiMD serves as a vehicle for novel human research and treatment development for serious psychiatric illnesses.

Mood (both unipolar depression and bipolar disorder) and anxiety disorders are common, costly and potentially debilitating illnesses. About one-third of individuals with these serious disorders fail to respond to available treatments and are classified as “treatment refractory,” or “treatment-resistant.” These individuals may suffer years, even decades, without relief.

Unfortunately, little is known about the mechanisms of these complex disorders, inhibiting the development of new and more effective treatments. To develop and advance novel treatments for complex mood and anxiety disorders, we must have a better understanding of the neurobiological basis of these disorders. It is also imperative to have the ability to simultaneously test promising interventions. This two-pronged approach provides natural synergy as treatment successes inspire new neurobiological hypotheses, and neurobiological findings inform novel treatments.

C-BriMD unites the efforts of several key research groups at Washington University Psychiatry dedicated to studying the biology and treatment of major depressive, bipolar, and anxiety disorders.  These research groups work across the lifespan from early childhood to older adults. The center’s researchers work hand-in-hand with Washington University clinical programs to find effective treatments for patients across a range of psychiatric illnesses.