Vivian Kafantaris, M.D., of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, is seeking an early biomarker of response to lithium in adolescents with bipolar disorder to sort out those who will and will not benefit from lithium treatment. Increased volume in specific brain regions following lithium use suggests that one of lithium's effects is to increase the volume of cell connections. Dr. Kafantaris is investigating volume increases in the hippocampus, the most neuroplastic brain area.
Heather C. Abercrombie, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin, will examine the role of the stress hormone cortisol in women with depression. Early life experience can alter gene expression into adulthood, through so-called epigenetic changes caused by non-genetic, environmental factors such as stress. Dr. Abercrombie wants to determine whether childhood adversity is predictive of epigenetic changes related to altered cortisol functioning in depressed women, a potentially reversible process.
James E. Swain, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Michigan, will conduct a trial to identify hormonal biomarkers of risk for and resilience to postpartum depression and anxiety. His lab has identified regional brain responses in depression, during parenting behaviors and in responses to the stress hormone cortisol. The lab will now focus on responses in trial participants at one month postpartum, and their mood and behavior at three and six months postpartum.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Ananda B. Amstadter, Ph.D., of Virginia Commonwealth University, will test a form of psychotherapy called Risk Reduction Family Therapy to treat adoles
|Contact: Sally Corbett|
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation