Psychiatric disorders affect more than 80 million Americans and roughly 25 percent of the world’s population. One in four adults in New York State has a diagnosable mental condition, and one in 17 has a serious mental illness. Regrettably, on average, people with serious mental illnesses die approximately 25 years younger than those without such serious conditions. Mental illness costs our country nearly $450 billion each year, and in New York the cost is estimated at $3.6 billion. These numbers are staggering, and when coupled with the human and societal costs, demonstrate the need to develop better treatments and methods for providing better care for individuals and families struggling with mental illness.
Furthermore, psychiatric disorders represent a common thread underlying many other disabilities and causes of reduced functioning and quality of life. Mental illnesses are rooted in brain dysfunction, and ultimately lead to symptoms involving emotion, motivation and cognition. Without intervention, they can have devastating effects and interfere with daily life. Although effective therapies are currently available, outcomes vary widely for those affected with these disorders.
Effective treatments require a better understanding of the problem on many levels – from genes and neurons, to drugs and receptors, to the social and cultural. Our focus at the Nathan Kline Institute is to diminish the impact of psychiatric illness by changing the landscape of brain health, and adding to the knowledge base in all of these areas. Each day, our scientists endeavor to advance our understanding of psychiatric illnesses and their causes. Since Dr. Nathan S. Kline arrived at Rockland State Hospital in 1952, we have been working toward this goal.
Today, research at NKI encompasses diverse topics such as neurogenetics and neurochemistry; functional brain imaging across the lifespan; cognition in schizophrenia; understanding the molecular and cellular basis of Alzheimer’s disease; early intervention for people at high risk; and culturally competent care. Our renowned investigators have expertise in a broad range of disciplines, enabling innovative and interdisciplinary collaborations. And, research at NKI takes place in a spacious facility, with state-of-the- art equipment and an advanced computing infrastructure.
We welcome you to browse our site and hope you find it informative. It is only through a strategic investment in research that we will be able to identify new and better options for individuals and families suffering from psychiatric illnesses and ultimately, to prevent these illnesses entirely.
Donald C. Goff, M.D.
Statistics obtained from the World Health Organization, New York State Office of Mental Health, National Institute of Mental Health, and National Alliance on Mental Illness.