Anabel Martinez-Aran, Ph.D., of the University of Barcelona, will conduct a clinical trial to examine the role of the growth factor BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) in cognitive impairment and long-term functioning in bipolar disorder to determine the efficacy of cognitive remediation. The study will compare BDNF levels in 100 patients in a euthymic (nondepressive, nonmanic) state after half received a neurocognitive intervention and half received a pharmacological treatment-as-usual.
Robert C. Thompson, Ph.D, of the University of Michigan, will investigate how stress affects gene expression in different brain cell types to contribute to depression. Using animal models, the research will begin by determining the impact of stress on cells called astrocytes, based on findings that reduced astrocyte cell density is seen in several brain regions in postmortem studies of depression. The resultant findings may be applicable to other cell types as well.
Qin Wang, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will explore the link between depression and a molecule that is a key receptor involved in regulating brain neurotransmitter systems thought to be disrupted in depressive disorders. The research will use transgenic mice to observe cellular and molecular alterations in the brain associated with the receptor's overexpression in depressive behaviors, and the possibilities for corrective therapy targeting the molecule.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Julia A. Chester, Ph.D., of Purdue University, is exploring the role of stress in genetic risk for co-occurring (co-morbid) post-traumatic stress disorder and alcohol abuse toward the goal of developing new treatments. Utilizing mice bred for high or low alcoho
|Contact: Sally Corbett|
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation