Journal article

Stratified medicine for mental disorders

There is recognition that biomedical research into the causes of mental disorders and their treatment needs to adopt new approaches to research. Novel biomedical techniques have advanced our understanding of how the brain develops and is shaped by behaviour and environment. This has led to the advent of stratified medicine, which translates advances in basic research by targeting aetiological mechanisms underlying mental disorder. The resulting increase in diagnostic precision and targeted treatments may provide a window of opportunity to address the large public health burden, and individual suffering associated with mental disorders. While mental health and mental disorders have significant representation in the "health, demographic change and wellbeing" challenge identified in Horizon 2020, the framework programme for research and innovation of the European Commission (2014-2020), and in national funding agencies, clear advice on a potential strategy for mental health research investment is needed. The development of such a strategy is supported by the EC-funded "Roadmap for Mental Health Research" (ROAMER) which will provide recommendations for a European mental health research strategy integrating the areas of biomedicine, psychology, public health well being, research integration and structuring, and stakeholder participation. Leading experts on biomedical research on mental disorders have provided an assessment of the state of the art in core psychopathological domains, including arousal and stress regulation, affect, cognition social processes, comorbidity and pharmacotherapy. They have identified major advances and promising methods and pointed out gaps to be addressed in order to achieve the promise of a stratified medicine for mental disorders.

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