The NIMH Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) Project: implications for genetics research
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- Simmons, J.M. & Quinn, K.J. Mamm Genome (2014) 25: 23. doi:10.1007/s00335-013-9476-9
Heterogeneity of disorders, comorbidity across diagnoses, and reification of existing disease classifications are some of the challenges facing psychiatry in the twenty-first century. NIMH’s Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) Project seeks to address these issues by defining basic dimensions of function that cut across disorders as traditionally defined and can be studied across multiple units of analysis, from genes to neural circuits to behaviors. The intent is to translate rapid progress in basic genetic, neurobiological, and behavioral research to an improved integrative understanding of psychopathology. In so doing, RDoC seeks to facilitate the development of new and/or optimally targeted treatments for mental disorders. The RDoC project would not have been possible without NIMH’s long-term investment in basic research. Without the continuation of basic research, both related and unrelated to current RDoC domains and constructs, it will not be possible to sustain the RDoC effort. This article seeks to outline the relationship between RDoC and NIMH’s ongoing support for broad-based basic research, from genetics to behavior.