What are Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are part of clinical research and at the heart of all medical advances. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. Treatments might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments.

The goal of clinical trials is to determine if a new test or treatment is safe and effective. Although individual participants may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others may be better helped in the future.

How do I find a Clinical Trial on Depression?

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at NIH is dedicated to mental health research, including clinical trials of possible new treatments as well as studies to understand the causes and effects of depression. Find NIH-funded studies currently recruiting participants with depression by going to (search: depression) or visiting Join a Research Study: Depression.

To learn more about how clinical trials work, visit "Participating in Clinical Trials" on this website.