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.
  • Violence and Mental Health: Opportunities for Prevention and ... Released: March 22, 2018
    On February 26–27, 2014, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Forum on Global Violence Prevention convened a workshop titled Mental Health and Violence: Opportunities for Prevention and Early Intervention. The workshop brought together advocates and experts in public health and mental health, anthropology, biomedical science, criminal justice, global health and development, and neuroscience to examine experience, evidence, and practice at the intersection of mental health and violence.
  • 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.
  • Public Policy Approaches to Violence Prevention ... Released: February 23, 2018
    In response to the societal impacts and costs of violence, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop on December 1–2, 2016, with the aim of illuminating the ways in which violence prevention practitioners can effectively share their evidence-based research findings with policy makers in order to positively affect and amplify violence prevention efforts.
  • Evaluation of the Department of Veterans Affairs Mental ... Released: January 31, 2018
    Approximately 4 million U.S. veterans supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn—and many have need for mental health care services. Under a Congressional mandate responding to concerns about the health care experience of these veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to assemble a committee of experts to assess veterans’ ability to access mental health services at the VA, as well as the quality of those services.
  • Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes : Health and ... Released: January 23, 2018
    Millions of Americans use e-cigarettes, even as rates of smoking combustible tobacco cigarettes continue to decline among youth and adults. In 2016 youth e-cigarette use was substantially higher than cigarette smoking or use of any other tobacco product. The Center for Tobacco Products of the Food and Drug Administration requested that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convene a committee of experts to conduct a review the available evidence of the health effects related to the use of e-cigarettes and identify future federally funded research needs.
  • Getting to Zero Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities: A ... Released: January 17, 2018
    Alcohol-impaired driving remains the deadliest and costliest danger on U.S. roads today. Every day in the United States, 29 people die in an alcohol-impaired driving crash—one death every 49 minutes. After decades of progress, alcohol-impaired driving fatality rates plateaued and have increased for the past two years—making it a persistent public health and safety problem.
  • 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.
  • Pain Management and the Opioid Epidemic: Balancing ... Released: July 13, 2017
    Drug overdose, driven largely by overdose related to the use of opioids, is now the leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States. The ongoing opioid crisis lies at the intersection of two public health challenges: reducing the burden of suffering from pain and containing the rising toll of the harms that can arise from the use of opioid medications. Chronic pain and opioid use disorder both represent complex human conditions affecting millions of Americans and causing untold disability and loss of function. In the context of the growing opioid problem, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched an Opioids Action Plan in early 2016.
  • 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.