About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.


  • Advancing Therapeutic Development for Pain and Opioid Use ... Released: March 23, 2018
    Chronic pain is one of the most prevalent, costly, and disabling health conditions in the United States. In parallel with increasing recognition of the need to treat chronic pain, the opioid epidemic has emerged as a growing public health emergency. In 2017, the National Institutes of Health began exploring public-private partnerships to develop solutions to the opioid crisis and cut in half the time it takes to develop non-addictive analgesics. To help inform this effort, the National Academies’ Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous Systems Disorders hosted a public workshop that brought together experts and stakeholders from academia, federal agencies, advocacy organizations, and companies developing therapeutics for pain and opioid use disorders.
  • Enabling Novel Treatments for Nervous System Disorders by ... Released: March 08, 2018
    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) presents a special challenge to the development of therapeutics for many central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Far from acting simply as a physical barrier, the BBB is a complex dynamic system involving several cell types, passive and active transport mechanisms, and adaptive function to control the exchange of substances between the blood and the CNS. Few therapeutic agents readily traverse the BBB to reach the brain or spinal cord, including most small molecule drugs and the vast majority of large molecules such as proteins.
  • Biomarkers of Neuroinflammation: Proceedings of a Workshop ... Released: September 15, 2017
    Innate and adaptive immunity have become very important areas of investigation for psychiatric, neurologic, and neurodevelopmental disorders, and neurodegeneration resulting from traumatic brain injury. To address these gaps in understanding mechanisms and how to translate that understanding into therapeutics, the Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a workshop on March 20–21, 2017, bringing together key leaders in the field from industry, academia, and governmental agencies to explore the role and mechanisms of neuroinflammation in a variety of central nervous system diseases.
  • Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward ... Released: June 22, 2017
    Individuals, families, and societies around the world are concerned about dementia and the other forms of cognitive impairment that affect many older adults. It is now known that brain changes typically begin years—if not decades—before people show symptoms, which suggests that a window of opportunity exists to prevent, slow, or delay the onset of these conditions. Further, emerging evidence that the incidence and prevalence of dementia are declining in some high-income countries offers hope that public health interventions can be effective in preventing cognitive decline and dementia.
  • Therapeutic Development in the Absence of Predictive Animal ... Released: March 10, 2017
    Despite the high prevalence and burden of nervous system disorders, development of new therapeutics lags behind other disease areas. Gaps in understanding the underlying pathophysiology, a dearth of biomarkers, and limitations in the capacity of animal models to predict drug efficacy for human brain disorders have contributed to a high rate of late stage failures in drug development and decreased investment in neuroscience research programs at pharmaceutical companies. On September 12-13, 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders hosted a public workshop to explore opportunities to accelerate drug development absent predictive animal models.
  • International Perspectives on Integrating Ethical, Legal, and ... Released: January 09, 2017
    Emerging neurotechnologies—devices and techniques designed to collect information about the brain or affect its function—are becoming increasingly important due to scientific and technological advances and a persistent need to develop effective therapies to address the large global burden of neurological and psychiatric disease. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)—in collaboration with Arizona State University and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine—held a workshop in Washington, DC, on Neurotechnology and Society: Strengthening Responsible Innovation in Brain Science.
  • Developing Multimodal Therapies for Brain Disorders ... Released: November 18, 2016
    Califf was the keynote speaker at a workshop on multimodality therapies for brain disorders, convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous Systems Disorders. The workshop brought together key stakeholders to examine the general principles underlying multimodal therapies and to explore challenges, potential barriers, and opportunities for their development from multiple perspectives, including scientific, clinical, regulatory, and financial. These proceedings chronicle the presentations and discussions at the workshop.
  • Neuroscience Trials of the Future: Proceedings of a Workshop ... Released: August 19, 2016
    On March 3–4, 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders held a workshop in Washington, DC, bringing together key stakeholders to discuss opportunities for improving the integrity, efficiency, and validity of clinical trials for nervous system disorders.
  • Considerations for the Design of a Systemic Review of ... Released: December 29, 2015
    The National Institutes of Health- and many other organizations and individuals worldwide- are interested in the state of the science of preventing Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment, and age-related cognitive decline.
  • Assessing the Impact of Applications of Digital Health Records ... Released: December 08, 2015
    On July 20, 2015, the IOM’s Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders held a public session at the 2015 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington, DC, to assess the impact of DHRs on Alzheimer’s disease research. “AD is the most common cause of dementia in older adults.” An estimated 46.8 million people worldwide are currently living with dementia, and the prevalence is expected to double every year for the next 20 years. Given the few therapies currently available to treat the symptoms of AD, compared to other central nervous system disorders, this session explored how DHRs may be used to help improve clinical trial design and methodology for AD research.