(Boston) - Two Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) faculty members, Pietro Cottone, PhD, an assistant professor of pharmacology and psychiatry and Michael Silverstein, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics, were each awarded the prestigious National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Biobehavioral Research Awards for Innovative New Scientisits (BRAINS) grant with ten other investigators from around the country. The BRAINS award called for innovative and groundbreaking research projects from early stage investigators to explore the complex mechanisms underlying mental disorders or novel treatments and prevention strategies.
The BRAINS initiative was created to support the research programs and career development of outstanding scientists who are in the early, formative stages of their careers and who plan to make a long term commitment to research most relevant to NIMH. This award seeks to assist these individuals in launching an innovative clinical, translational, or basic research program that holds the potential to profoundly transform the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of mental disorders.
Cottone, whose research explores the neural mechanisms underlying addictive disorders summarizes his proposal. "We propose that a history of dieting and relapse represents a vicious circle between stress and compulsive eating. In other words, the next attempt to avoid junk food is going to be more painful and stressful than the previous one, and the likelihood of relapse will progressively increase. We propose that during dieting the endocannabinoids (chemicals of the brains that protect from stress and promote the consumption of our favorite foods) are released to try to fight this stressful condition but on the other side they also increase our craving for junk food. Therefore blockade of the endocannabinoid action on one hand reduces compulsive eating, but on the other hand it induces anxiety and depression. This proposa
|Contact: Gina DiGravio|
Boston University Medical Center