McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, is home to the nation's oldest and foremost research program in a psychiatric hospital setting. Since 1888 McLean has been dedicated to studying the role of biological factors in mental illness, and today the hospital has over three acres of floor space dedicated to this important research.
Some of the most significant discoveries in the field of psychiatry have been made at McLean, shedding new light on the causes of and treatments for many complex neuropsychiatric disorders. To this day no other psychiatric hospital or university department of psychiatry contains a comparable range of basic laboratory, brain imaging and clinical research facilities dedicated to the study of major brain disorders, including:
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research
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- A multifaceted drug and alcohol abuse research program, with major initiatives to compare treatment models, clarify the biological basis of alcohol and drug craving, and explore the differences between men and women in the biochemistry of chemical dependency
- Clinical research on bipolar and psychotic disorders, with a specialization in the management of first episodes of psychosis
- Detailed investigation of the changes in brain microcircuitry that occur in schizophrenia
- Studies of the biochemistry and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, with special attention to the often-neglected challenge of psychotic depression
- Careful work with adult survivors of childhood trauma, leading to the creation of highly sensitive treatment models for this population.
- Intensive studies of the degenerative diseases of the nervous system including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease.
- Rapid exchange of information between research and clinical specialties, which promotes immediate contributions to the mental health of patients and the public at large.
McLean's nationally prominent research program is devoted to clarifying the roots, diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric illnesses that affect millions.