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Brain & Behavior Research Foundation awards nearly $4 million in new NARSAD grants
Date:3/21/2013

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John A. Wemmie, M.D., Ph.D. of the University of Iowa, will explore the contribution of a particular ion channel, ASIC1a, to mood and behavior, and its potential as an antidepressant target. Ion channels are proteins on cell membranes that control ion flow into and out of the cell. The lab's prior animal research showed that disturbed ASIC1a contributes to depression and anxiety behaviors and that inhibiting the ASIC1a gene in the brain reduced these behaviors.

Schizophrenia

Christopher R. Bowie, Ph.D., of Queen's University, Ontario, will test a new online application of cognitive remediation for people with schizophrenia. Cognitive remediation is psychotherapy that improves schizophrenia-associated deficits in cognitive functions such as attention, memory and planning, but many patients lack access to it. Online delivery, if effective, may provide patients the ability to achieve even better, more consistent skill development than is achievable with weekly face-to-face psychotherapy.

Ariel Graff-Guerrero, M.D., Ph.D., of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, will conduct a pilot trial to see whether levels of the brain chemical glutamate are increased in schizophrenia patients who do not respond to antipsychotic medications. If increased glutamate can be linked to lack of treatment response, it should facilitate development of new treatments aimed at normalizing glutamate levels.

Gregory A. Light, Ph.D., of the University of California, San Diego, is working to improve cognitive ability in people with schizophrenia. The cognitive impairments that affect schizophrenia patients are not helped by current medications, but are helped by cognitive training. One promising approach, Targeted Cognitive Training, sharpens auditory information processing. The study will ascertain utility of this intervention and provide possible biomarkers to predict which individuals are most lik
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Contact: Sally Corbett
scorbett@bbrfoundation.org
516-829-0091 x242
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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