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June 2021

Differing dose details and controlling confounding covariates in modulating motor cortex excitability by transcranial direct current stimulation

We respond to a letter commentary on our article Pinging the brain wit transcranial magnetic stimulation reveals cortical reactivity in time and space.

PI: Flavio Frohlich PhD MSc ETH

Frohlich F, Ahn S. Differing dose details and controlling confounding covariates in modulating motor cortex excitability by transcranial direct current stimulation. Brain Stimul. 2021 Jun 10;14(4):947-948. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2021.05.015. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34118495.

Schizophrenia and Bartonella spp. Infection: A Pilot Case-Control Study

We sought to determine if there is an association between Bartonella infection and schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder.

PI: Flavio Frohlich PhD MSc ETH; Fredrik Jarskog, MD

Lashnits E, Maggi R, Jarskog F, Bradley J, Breitschwerdt E, Frohlich F. Schizophrenia and Bartonella spp. Infection: A Pilot Case-Control Study. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2021 Jun;21(6):413-421. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2020.2729. Epub 2021 Mar 15. PMID: 33728987; PMCID: PMC8170724.

Targeting physical health in schizophrenia: results from the Physical Activity Can Enhance Life (PACE-Life) 24-week open trial

Poor health and low cardiorespiratory fitness contribute to the shortened lifespan of people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD). This open trial was aimed at demonstrating feasibility of conducting a 24-week walking study in people with SSD and assessing change in cardiorespiratory fitness. Results showed feasibility of enrollment, good satisfaction with the intervention, and substantial improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness over 24 weeks.

PI: David Penn, PhD and Fred Jarskog, MD

Browne J, Battaglini C, Jarskog LF, Sheeran P, Abrantes AM, McDermott J, Elliott T, Gonzalez O, Penn DL. Targeting physical health in schizophrenia: results from the Physical Activity Can Enhance Life (PACE-Life) 24-week open trial. Mental Health and Physical Activity. 2021 Mar; 20:100393. doi: 10.1016/j.mhpa.2021.100393. Epub 2021 Apr 20. PMID: 34178113

Effect of Zuranolone vs Placebo in Postpartum Depression: A Randomized Clinical Trial

In this randomized clinical trial, zuranolone, a novel oral drug that is a neuroactive steroid, improved symptoms of postpartum depression as measured by HAMD-17 and was generally well tolerated, supporting further development of zuranolone in the treatment of PPD.

PI: Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, MPH

Effect of Zuranolone vs Placebo in Postpartum Depression: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
Deligiannidis KM, Meltzer-Brody S, Gunduz-Bruce H, Doherty J, Jonas J, Li S, Sankoh AJ, Silber C, Campbell AD, Werneburg B, Kanes SJ, Lasser R.
JAMA Psychiatry. 2021 Jun 30. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.1559. Online ahead of print.

Cell-type diversity in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis to regulate motivated behaviors

In this review, we discuss the different subsets of genetically defined neurons found in the BNST, their anatomical distribution, and what is currently known about how they regulating motivated behaviors.

PI: Jose Rodriguez-Romaguera, PhD

Ortiz-Juza MM, Alghorazi RA and Rodriguez-Romaguera J. “Cell-type diversity in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis to regulate motivated behaviors”. Behav Brain Res, 411, 113401.

Promoviendo una Alimentación Saludable (PAS) results: Engaging Latino families in eating disorder treatment

This study compared results of a culturally adapted individual cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) for binge-spectrum eating disorders that included or excluded a family enhanced module (CBT + FE), in a proof-of-principle pilot study with a sample of Latina adults and one family member per patient.

PI: Mae Lynn Reyes-Rodriguez, Ph.D., FAED Associate Clinical Professor

Reyes-Rodríguez, M. L., Watson, H. J., Smith, T. W., Baucom, D. H., & Bulik, C. M. (2021). Promoviendo una Alimentación Saludable (PAS) results: Engaging Latino families in eating disorder treatment. Eating Behaviors, 101534. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eatbeh.2021.101534

Parent responsiveness mediates the association between hyporeactivity at age 1 year and communication at age 2 years in children at elevated likelihood of ASD

Toddlers at elevated likelihood of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are often under-reactive (hyporeactive) to sensory stimuli. This hyporeactivity slows learning of communication skills and provides parents with fewer opportunities to respond to their children. In this study, children with hyporeactivity at 14 months generally had poorer communication at 23 months; however, the more responsive their parents were, the weaker the relationship between early hyporeactivity and later communication. Thus, increasing parent responsiveness may lead to better communication outcomes for toddlers with the early ASD symptom of hyporeactivity.

PI: Rebecca Grzadzinski, PhD

Grzadzinski, R., Nowell, S. W., Crais, E. R., Baranek, G. T., Turner‐Brown, L., & Watson, L. R. (2021). Parent responsiveness mediates the association between hyporeactivity at age 1 year and communication at age 2 years in children at elevated likelihood of ASD. Autism Research.

Survivorship Care of Older Adults With Cancer: Priority Areas for Clinical Practice, Training, Research, and Policy

Older adults represent a growing number of all cancer survivors. We provide a conceptual evidence-based review of the current state of survivorship care of older adults with cancer.

PI: Eliza Park, MD.

Kent EE, Park EM, Wood WA, Bryant AL, Mollica MA. Survivorship Care of Older Adults With Cancer: Priority Areas for Clinical Practice, Training, Research, and Policy. J Clin Oncol. 2021 May 27:JCO2100226. doi: 10.1200/JCO.21.00226. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34043450.

Talking With Children About Prognosis: The Decisions and Experiences of Mothers With Metastatic Cancer

Parents with metastatic cancer report unique concerns and challenges when discussing their illness with their minor children. This study aimed to describe the challenges, approaches, and decisions related to discussing prognosis among a sample of mothers with metastatic cancer.

PI: Eliza Park, MD.

Park EM, Jensen C, Song MK, Yopp JM, Deal AM, Rauch PK, Greer JA, Rosenstein DL. Talking With Children About Prognosis: The Decisions and Experiences of Mothers With Metastatic Cancer. JCO Oncol Pract. 2021 May 3:OP2100003. doi: 10.1200/OP.21.00003. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33939473.

Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis attenuation and obesity risk in sexually abused females

This research establishes a biological mechanistic association between HPA axis attenuation and obesity, suggesting that trauma treatments for abuse survivors should include interventions that reduce health consequences associated with dysregulated stress physiology.

PI: Jennie Noll, PhD.

Jacinda C. Li, Molly A. Hall, Idan Shalev, Hannah M.C. Schreier, Tom ́as Gonza ́lez Zarzar, Isabel Marcovici, Frank W. Putnam, Jennie G. Noll. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis attenuation and obesity risk in sexually abused females. Psychoneuroendocrinology 129 (2021) 105254

May 2021

Mapping the Memorial Anxiety Scale for Prostate Cancer to the SF-6D

To create a crosswalk that predicts Short Form 6D (SF-6D) utilities from Memorial Anxiety Scale for Prostate Cancer (MAX-PC) scores.

PI: Brad Gaynes, MD

Mapping the Memorial Anxiety Scale for Prostate Cancer to the SF-6D. Erim DO, Bennett AV, Gaynes BN, Basak RS, Usinger D, Chen RC.Qual Life Res. 2021 May 16. doi: 10.1007/s11136-021-02871-9. Online ahead of print. PMID: 33993437

Perceptions, attitudes, and knowledge of teachers serving as mental health lay counselors in a low and middle income country: a mixed methods pragmatic pilot study

Low and middle-income countries (LMICs) lack trained child mental health professionals. While teachers’ child development experience potentially positions them to fill the gap as lay mental health counselors, they have rarely delivered indicated child mental health care in LMICs. As part of assessing the feasibility of teachers serving as lay counselors, we explored teachers’ perceptions of serving as lay counselors and their mental health attitudes and knowledge.

PI: Brad Gaynes, MD

Perceptions, attitudes, and knowledge of teachers serving as mental health lay counselors in a low and middle income country: a mixed methods pragmatic pilot study.
Cruz CM, Lamb MM, Giri P, Vanderburg J, Ferrarone P, Bhattarai S, Giardina AA, Hampanda K, Gaynes BN, Matergia M.
Int J Ment Health Syst. 2021 Apr 29;15(1):40. doi: 10.1186/s13033-021-00453-3.
PMID: 33926487

Examining common mental health disorders in people living with HIV on methadone maintenance therapy in Hanoi, Vietnam

Injection drug use drives HIV transmission in Southeast Asia, where around a quarter of users are living with HIV. Vietnam developed Methadone Maintenance Therapy (MMT) programs to reduce unsafe drug abuse. Common mental health disorders (CMD), including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can worsen MMT outcomes and are highly prevalent among people living with HIV (PLH). We aimed to characterize HIV and CMD among MMT patients and assess the impact of HIV and CMD on MMT engagement outcomes in Hanoi, Vietnam.

PI: Brad Gaynes, MD

Examining common mental health disorders in people living with HIV on methadone maintenance therapy in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Mughal AY, Stockton MA, Bui Q, Go V, Pence BW, Ha TV, Gaynes BN. Harm Reduct J. 2021 Apr 23;18(1):45. doi: 10.1186/s12954-021-00495-3. PMID: 33892743

Systematic Quality Improvement and Metabolic Monitoring for Individuals Taking Antipsychotic Drugs

The authors sought to increase the rate of cardiometabolic monitoring for patients receiving antipsychotic drugs in an academic outpatient psychiatric clinic serving people with serious mental illness.

PI: Brad Gaynes, MD

Systematic Quality Improvement and Metabolic Monitoring for Individuals Taking Antipsychotic Drugs.
Soda T, Richards J, Gaynes BN, Cueva M, Laux J, McClain C, Frische R, Lindquist LK, Cuddeback GS, Jarskog LF.
Psychiatr Serv. 2021 Apr 23:appips202000155. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.202000155. Online ahead of print.
PMID: 33887956

Maternal, Fetal, and Child Outcomes of Mental Health Treatments in Women: A Systematic Review of Perinatal Pharmacologic Interventions

Untreated maternal mental health disorders can have devastating sequelae for the mother and child. For women who are currently or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding, a critical question is whether the benefits of treating psychiatric illness with pharmacologic interventions outweigh the harms for mother and child.

PI: Brad Gaynes, MD

Maternal, Fetal, and Child Outcomes of Mental Health Treatments in Women: A Systematic Review of Perinatal Pharmacologic Interventions [Internet]. Viswanathan M, Middleton JC, Stuebe A, Berkman N, Goulding AN, McLaurin-Jiang S, Dotson AB, Coker-Schwimmer M, Baker C, Voisin C, Bann C, Gaynes BN. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2021 Apr. Report No.: 21-EHC001. PMID: 33950611 

HPA axis regulation and epigenetic programming of immune-related genes in chronically stressed and non-stressed mid-life women

Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysregulation has been associated with altered immune function, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unclear. Epigenetic processes, including DNA methylation, respond to the glucocorticoid end-products of the HPA axis (cortisol in humans) and could be involved in this neuroendocrine-immune crosstalk. Here we examined the extent to which variations in HPA axis regulation are associated with peripheral blood DNA (CpG) methylation changes in 57 chronically stressed caregivers and 67 control women.

PI: David Rubinow, MD

Palma-Gudiel H, Prather AA, Lin J, Oxendine JD, Guintivano J, Xia K, Rubinow DR, Wolkowitz O, Epel ES, Zannas AS. Brain Behav Immun. 2021 Feb;92:49-56. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2020.11.027. Epub 2020 Nov 19. PMID: 33221485

Perimenopausal transdermal estradiol replacement reduces serum HDL cholesterol efflux capacity but improves cardiovascular risk factors

The cardiovascular (CV) safety of estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) in perimenopausal women remains uncertain. Although exogenous estrogens increase HDL cholesterol (HDL-C), estrogen-mediated effects on alternative metrics of HDL that may better predict CV risk are unknown. To determine the effects of transdermal ERT on HDL composition and cholesterol efflux capacity (CEC), as well as the relationships between these metrics and CV risk factors.

PI: David Rubinow, MD

Vaisar T, Gordon JL, Wimberger J, Heinecke JW, Hinderliter AL, Rubinow DR, Girdler SS, Rubinow KB. J Clin Lipidol. 2021 Jan-Feb;15(1):151-161.e0. doi: 10.1016/j.jacl.2020.11.009. Epub 2020 Nov 24. PMID: 33288437

The short-term effects of estradiol, raloxifene, and a phytoestrogen in women with perimenopausal depression

We examined the short-term efficacies of three estrogen-like compounds under placebo-controlled conditions in women with perimenopause-related depression (PMD).

PI: David Rubinow, MD

Schmidt PJ, Wei SM, Martinez PE, Dor RRB, Guerrieri GM, Palladino PP, Harsh VL, Li HJ, Wakim P, Nieman LK, Rubinow DR. Menopause. 2021 Jan 15;28(4):369-383. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001724. PMID: 33470755

One Small Step for PMDD, One Large Step for Affective Disorders

PI: David Rubinow, MD

Rubinow DR. Am J Psychiatry. 2021 Mar 1;178(3):215-217. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.20121793. PMID: 33641380

Subgenual cingulate resting regional cerebral blood flow in premenstrual dysphoric disorder: differential regulation by ovarian steroids and preliminary evidence for an association with expression of ESC/E(Z) complex genes

Substantial evidence suggests that circulating ovarian steroids modulate behavior differently in women with PMDD than in those without this condition. However, hormonal state-related abnormalities of neural functioning in PMDD remain to be better characterized. In addition, while altered neural function in PMDD likely co-exists with alterations in intrinsic cellular function, such a relationship has not been explored. Here, we investigated the effects of ovarian steroids on basal, resting regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in PMDD, and, in an exploratory analysis, we tested whether the rCBF findings were linked to the expression of ESC/E(Z) genes, which form an essential ovarian steroid-regulated gene-silencing complex.

PI: David Rubinow, MD

Wei SM, Baller EB, Martinez PE, Goff AC, Li HJ, Kohn PD, Kippenhan JS, Soldin SJ, Rubinow DR, Goldman D, Schmidt PJ, Berman KF. Transl Psychiatry. 2021 Apr 8;11(1):206. doi: 10.1038/s41398-021-01328-4. PMID: 33833224

White matter changes in psychosis risk relate to development and are not impacted by the transition to psychosis

While subtle alterations in white matter microstructure are observed in youth at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis, the timing of these changes and their relationships to the emergence of psychosis remain unclear. In this study, investigators track the evolution of white matter abnormalities in a large, longitudinal cohort of CHR individuals comprising the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS-3). Analyses suggest that transition to psychosis is not marked by dramatic change in white matter microstructure; instead, clinical high risk for psychosis-regardless of transition outcome-is characterized by subtle age-related white matter changes that occur in tandem with development.

PI: Diana Perkins, MD, MPH

Di Biase, M. A., Cetin-Karayumak, S., Lyall, A. E., Zalesky, A., Cho, K., Zhang, F., Kubicki, M., Rathi, Y., Lyons, M. G., Bouix, S., Billah, T., Anticevic, A., Schleifer, C., Adkinson, B. D., Ji, J. L., Tamayo, Z., Addington, J., Bearden, C. E., Cornblatt, B. A., Keshavan, M. S., … Pasternak, O. (2021). White matter changes in psychosis risk relate to development and are not impacted by the transition to psychosis. Molecular psychiatry, 10.1038/s41380-021-01128-8. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01128-8

Heart rate variability in late pregnancy: exploration of distinctive patterns in relation to maternal mental health

This study explores the complexity of mental health of individuals in a clinical sample responding to a task in late pregnancy; finding those with several types of past or current anxiety disorders, greater trait anxiety, or greater exposure to childhood traumatic events had significantly different Heart Rate Variability, the beat-to-beat variation important for adaptability. Study of the impact of lower parasympathetic functioning and higher sympathetic functioning separately and in conjunction at baseline and in relation to tasks during late pregnancy has the potential to identify individuals that require more support and direct intervention.

PI: Mary Kimmell, MD

TranslationPsychiatry 2021 May 14;11(1):286. doi: 10.1038/s41398-021-01401-y. Mary C Kimmel, Emma Fransson, Janet L Cunningham, Emma Brann, Karen Grewen, Dario Boschiero, George P Chrousos, Samantha Meltzer-Brody, Alkistis Skalkidou

Calcium-permeable AMPA receptor activity and GluA1 trafficking in the basolateral amygdala regulate operant alcohol self-administration

Here we found that male mice pressing a lever to drink alcohol have increased function of a specific glutamate receptor in the basolateral amygdala. Further we showed that pharmacological and viral/peptide manipulation of this glutamate receptor decreased lever pressing and alcohol consumption.

PI: Drs. Clyde Hodge, Zoe McElligott, Sara Faccidomo

Addict Biol . 2021 May 5;e13049. doi: 10.1111/adb.13049. Online ahead of print

Life Event Stress and Reduced Cortical Thickness in Youth at Clinical High-Risk for Psychosis and Healthy Youths

Abnormally accelerated cortical thinning has been linked with conversion to psychosis among individuals at clinical high-risk for psychosis (CHR-P). Previous research indicates that exposure to life event stress is associated with exaggerated cortical thinning in both healthy and clinical populations, and life event stress is also linked with conversion to psychosis in CHR-P; however, to date, there are no reports on the relationship of life event stress with cortical thickness in CHR-P. The present study examines this relationship and whether LES is linked with cortical thinning to a greater degree in CHR-P who convert to psychosis compared to CHR-P who do not convert and healthy controls.

PI: Diana Perkins, MD, MPH, Full Professor

Aberizk, K., Collins, M. A., Addington, J., Bearden, C. E., Cadenhead, K. S., Cornblatt, B. A., Mathalon, D. H., McGlashan, T. H., Perkins, D. O., Tsuang, M. T., Woods, S. W., Cannon, T. D., & Walker, E. F. (2021). Life Event Stress and Reduced Cortical Thickness in Youth at Clinical High-Risk for Psychosis and Healthy Youths. Biological psychiatry. Cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging, S2451-9022(21)00118-X. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2021.04.011

Clinician Recognition of First Episode Psychosis

Psychotic disorders develop during mid-adolescence through early adulthood, with the initial few months a “critical period” offering the greatest promise for recovery. However, the duration of untreated psychosis is typically over a year. This study aimed to identify aspects of care episodes contributing to delays in diagnosis of a first psychotic episode.

PI: Diana Perkins, MD, MPH, Full Professor

Albin, K., Albin, C., Jeffries, C. D., & Perkins, D. O. (2021). Clinician Recognition of First Episode Psychosis. The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, S1054-139X(21)00008-2. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.12.138

FlyBy CNN: A 3D surface segmentation framework

A novel deep learning-based approach for 3D shape segmentation.

PI: Juan Carlos Prieto

Boumbolo L, Dumont M, Brosset S, Bianchi J, Ruellas A, Gurgel M, Massaro C, Del Castillo AA, Ioshida M, Yatabe M, Benavides E, Rios H, Soki F, Neiva G, Paniagua B, Cevidanes L, Styner M, Prieto JC. FlyBy CNN: A 3D surface segmentation framework. Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng. 2021 Feb;11596:115962B. doi: 10.1117/12.2582205. Epub 2021 Feb 15. PMID: 33758460; PMCID: PMC7983301.

April 2021

Systematic Quality Improvement and Metabolic Monitoring for Individuals Taking Antipsychotic Drugs

People who take antipsychotic medications experience high rates of cardiovascular and metabolic disorder such as weight gain, diabetes and high cholesterol but these conditions are not consistently tested for or identified. In this study, a 12 month quality improvement (QI) project led to substantially higher rates of laboratory monitoring for blood sugar and cholesterol for people receiving care in a large outpatient psychiatry clinic and these improvements were sustained 2 years beyond the end of the QI project. The QI interventions were easy to implement and not viewed as burdensome by most providers.

PI: Brad Gaynes, MD, MPH and Fred Jarskog, MD, Professor

Soda T, Richards J, Gaynes BN, Cueva M, Laux J, McClain C, Frische R, Lindquist LK, Cuddeback GS, Jarskog LF. Systematic Quality Improvement and Metabolic Monitoring for Individuals Taking Antipsychotic Drugs. Psychiatr Serv. 2021 Apr 23:appips202000155. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.202000155. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33887956.

Examining common mental health disorders in people living with HIV on methadone maintenance therapy in Hanoi, Vietnam

Injection drug use drives HIV transmission in Southeast Asia, where around a quarter of users are living with HIV. Vietnam developed Methadone Maintenance Therapy (MMT) programs to reduce unsafe drug abuse. Common mental health disorders (CMD), including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can worsen MMT outcomes and are highly prevalent among people living with HIV (PLH). We aimed to characterize HIV and CMD among MMT patients and assess the impact of HIV and CMD on MMT engagement outcomes in Hanoi, Vietnam.

PI: Brad Gaynes, MD, MPH

Mughal AY, Stockton MA, Bui Q, Go V, Pence BW, Ha TV, Gaynes BN. Examining common mental health disorders in people living with HIV on methadone maintenance therapy in Hanoi, Vietnam. Harm Reduct J. 2021 Apr 23;18(1):45. doi: 10.1186/s12954-021-00495-3. PMID: 33892743.

An automated framework for image classification and segmentation of fetal ultrasound images for gestational age estimation

Accurate assessment of fetal gestational age (GA) is critical to the clinical management of pregnancy. Industrialized countries rely upon obstetric ultrasound (US) to make this estimate. In low- and middle-income countries, automatic measurement of fetal structures using a low-cost obstetric US may assist in establishing GA without the need for skilled sonographers. We present a technique for generating raw images suitable for model training by removing caliper and text annotation and describe a fully automated pipeline for image classification, segmentation, and structure measurement to estimate the GA. The resulting framework achieves an average accuracy of 93% in classification tasks, a mean Intersection over Union accuracy of 0.91 during segmentation tasks, and a mean measurement error of 1.89 centimeters, finally leading to a 1.4 day mean average error in the predicted GA compared to expert sonographer GA estimate using the Hadlock equation.

PI: Jeffrey S. A. Stringer

Juan C. Prieto, Hina Shah, Alan J. Rosenbaum, Xiaoning Jiang, Patrick Musonda, Joan T. Price, Elizabeth M. Stringer, Bellington Vwalika, David M. Stamilio, Jeffrey S. A. Stringer

 

Perceptions, Attitudes, and Knowledge of Teachers Serving as Mental Health Lay Counselors in a Low and Middle Income Country: A Mixed Methods Pragmatic Pilot Study

Low and middle-income countries (LMICs) lack trained child mental health professionals. While teachers’ child development experience potentially positions them to fill the gap as lay mental health counselors, they have rarely delivered indicated child mental health care in LMICs. As part of assessing the feasibility of teachers serving as lay counselors, we explored teachers’ perceptions of serving as lay counselors and their mental health attitudes and knowledge.

PI: Christina Cruz, MD, EdM; Assistant Professor

Cruz, C.M., Lamb, M.M., Giri, P. et al. Perceptions, attitudes, and knowledge of teachers serving as mental health lay counselors in a low and middle income country: a mixed methods pragmatic pilot study. Int J Ment Health Syst 15, 40 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13033-021-00453-3

Targeting neural oscillations with transcranial alternating current stimulation

In this review, we explore recent research on the features of electrical brain activity, “neural oscillations,” and how to use non-invasive electrical brain stimulation to target this activity. Proper spatial and temporal targeting is critical for advancing understanding of the role of neural oscillations in cognition and how they become disrupted in psychiatric illness.

PI: Professor Flavio Frohlich

Riddle, Justin; Frohlich, Flavio. “Targeting neural oscillations with transcranial alternating current stimulation” Brain Research, 2021 Apr 19;147491.

Acute depletion of dopamine precursors in the human brain: effects on functional connectivity and alcohol attentional bias

We temporarily reduced dopamine levels in people to study the role of dopamine in attentional bias to reward cues in social and heavy alcohol drinkers. Dopamine depletion reduced attentional bias, and this effect was stronger in people who reported higher levels of alcohol binge drinking.

PI: Donita Robinson, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry

Acute depletion of dopamine precursors in the human brain: effects on functional connectivity and alcohol attentional bias. Elton A, Faulkner ML, Robinson DL, Boettiger CA. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2021 Mar 16.
doi: 10.1038/s41386-021-00993-9. Online ahead of print. PMID: 33727642 

March 2021

Disinhibition of right inferior frontal gyrus underlies alpha asymmetry in women with low testosterone

Reproductive steroid hormones play a role in cognition and mood, however, their influence on brain network activity is largely unknown. In an analysis of electrophysiology, we found that asymmetry between the left and right prefrontal cortex, a known risk factor for depression, was more prevalent in women with low concentration of testosterone.

PI: Dr. Flavio Frohlich, Dr. David Rubinow, and Dr. Susan Girdler

Riddle, J., Rubinow, D. R., Girdler, S., & Frohlich, F. (2021). Disinhibition of right inferior frontal gyrus underlies alpha asymmetry in women with low testosterone. Biological Psychology, 108061.

 

Causal role of cross-frequency coupling in distinct components of cognitive control

The prefrontal cortex exerts control over perceptual and motor systems via cross-frequency coupling. Using cross-frequency transcranial alternating current stimulation, we provide causal evidence that low-frequency oscillations in the prefrontal cortex guide perceptual and motor systems in distinct coupling motifs.

PI: Dr. Flavio Frohlich

Riddle, J., McFerren, A., & Frohlich, F. (2021). Causal role of cross-frequency coupling in distinct components of cognitive control. Progress in Neurobiology, 102033.

 

Visual cortical plasticity and the risk for psychosis: An interim analysis of the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study

Adolescence/early adulthood coincides with accelerated pruning of cortical synapses and the onset of schizophrenia. Cortical gray matter reduction and dysconnectivity in schizophrenia are hypothesized to result from impaired synaptic plasticity mechanisms, including long-term potentiation (LTP), since deficient LTP may result in too many weak synapses that are then subject to over-pruning. Deficient plasticity has already been observed in schizophrenia. Here, we assessed whether such deficits are present in the psychosis risk syndrome (PRS), particularly those who subsequently convert to full psychosis.

PI: Diana Perkins

Jacob, M. S., Roach, B. J., Hamilton, H. K., Carrión, R. E., Belger, A., Duncan, E., Johannesen, J., Keshavan, M., Loo, S., Niznikiewicz, M., Addington, J., Bearden, C. E., Cadenhead, K. S., Cannon, T. D., Cornblatt, B. A., McGlashan, T. H., Perkins, D. O., Stone, W., Tsuang, M., Walker, E. F., … Mathalon, D. H. (2021). Visual cortical plasticity and the risk for psychosis: An interim analysis of the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study. Schizophrenia research, 230, 26–37. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2021.01.028

 

Feasibility and acceptability of implementing the Making Friends with Yourself intervention on a college campus

This study explores the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary outcomes of a self-compassion program for college students. Results indicated that it was feasible and students found it acceptable, and pre/post assessments indicated a decrease in stress.

PI: Elizabeth Donovan

Donovan, E., Bluth, K., Scott, H., Mohammed, M., & Cousineau, T. M. (2021). Feasibility and acceptability of implementing the Making Friends with Yourself intervention on a college campus. Journal of American College Health, 1-8.

 

Development and Validation of the Self-Compassion Scale for Youth

This article describes four studies that were conducted to develop a self-compassion scale for youth. Validity and reliability properties were investigated, and the scale allows researchers to more accurately measure self-compassion in youth populations.

PI: Kristin Neff

Neff, K. D., Bluth, K., Tóth-Király, I., Davidson, O., Knox, M. C., Williamson, Z., & Costigan, A. (2021). Development and validation of the Self-Compassion Scale for Youth. Journal of personality assessment, 103(1), 92-105.

 

Neuropsychiatric Complications of COVID-19

This review article provides an in-depth description of the presentation, etiologies, and suggested management of post-acute COVID-19 neuropsychiatric symptoms.

PI: Zev Nakamura

Neuropsychiatric Complications of COVID-19.
Nakamura ZM, Nash RP, Laughon SL, Rosenstein DL.
Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2021 Mar 16;23(5):25. doi: 10.1007/s11920-021-01237-9.
PMID: 33725218

 

February 2021

Genetic and clinical analyses of psychosis spectrum symptoms in a large multiethnic youth cohort reveal significant link with ADHD

The investigators utilized a large community-based multiethnic sample of children and adolescents (8-22 years of age) to characterize the genetic risk for psychosis spectrum symptoms. Findings suggest that psychotic symptoms in youth may reflect a different genetic cause than psychotic symptoms in adulthood, one more akin to ADHD, and may shed light on how genetic risk can be investigated across early disease trajectories.

PI: Diana Perkins, MD, MPH, Full Professor

Olde Loohuis LM, Mennigen E, Ori APS, Perkins D, Robinson E, Addington J, Cadenhead KS, Cornblatt BA, Mathalon DH, McGlashan TH, Seidman LJ, Keshavan MS, Stone WS, Tsuang MT, Walker EF, Woods SW, Cannon TD, Gur RC, Gur RE, Bearden CE, Ophoff RA. Genetic and clinical analyses of psychosis spectrum symptoms in a large multiethnic youth cohort reveal significant link with ADHD. Transl Psychiatry. 2021 Jan 28;11(1):80. doi: 10.1038/s41398-021-01203-2. PMID: 33510130; PMCID: PMC7844241.

Visual cortical plasticity and the risk for psychosis: An interim analysis of the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study

Cortical gray matter reduction and dysconnectivity in schizophrenia are hypothesized to result from impaired synaptic plasticity mechanisms, including long-term potentiation (LTP), since deficient LTP may result in too many weak cortical synapses that are then subject to over-pruning. Analyses suggest that deficient visual cortical plasticity is also present in individuals exhibiting symptoms that put them at high risk for transition to psychosis.

PI: Diana Perkins, MD, MPH, Full Professor

Jacob MS, Roach BJ, Hamilton HK, Carrión RE, Belger A, Duncan E, Johannesen J, Keshavan M, Loo S, Niznikiewicz M, Addington J, Bearden CE, Cadenhead KS, Cannon TD, Cornblatt BA, McGlashan TH, Perkins DO, Stone W, Tsuang M, Walker EF, Woods SW, Mathalon DH. Visual cortical plasticity and the risk for psychosis: An interim analysis of the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study. Schizophr Res. 2021 Mar 2;230:26-37. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2021.01.028. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33667856.

Addiction history moderates the effect of prefrontal 10-Hz transcranial alternating current stimulation on habitual action selection

Addiction changes decision-making strategies in ways that involve multiple circuits in the brain, so nonpharmacological interventions hold promise for addiction treatment. Here, we show that, among people with an addiction history, 10-Hz transcranial alternating current stimulation (10Hz-tACS) of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex can reduce habitual actions. The fact that 10Hz-tACS can regulate behavioral flexibility suggests its possible utility to reduce harmful habitual actions.

PI: Donita Robinson, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Flavio Frohlich, PhD MSc ETH Assoc. Prof. Assoc. Vice Chair of Research

Addiction history moderates the effect of prefrontal 10-Hz transcranial alternating current stimulation on habitual action selection. McKim TH, Dove SJ, Robinson DL, Fröhlich F, Boettiger CA. J Neurophysiol. 2021 Mar 1;125(3):768-780. doi: 10.1152/jn.00180.2020. Epub 2020 Dec 23. PMID: 33356905

Allopregnanolone Decreases Evoked Dopamine Release Differently in Rats by Sex and Estrous Stage

Neurosteroids are chemicals made in the brain that regulate brain function. While they have much therapeutic potential, we don’t fully understand how nuerosteroids affect specific brain systems. Here, we show that the neurosteroid allopregnanolone regulates dopamine release, and does so differently in males and females.

PI: Donita Robinson, Professor of Psychiatry

Allopregnanolone Decreases Evoked Dopamine Release Differently in Rats by Sex and Estrous Stage.
Dornellas APS, Macedo GC, McFarland MH, Gómez-A A, O’Buckley TK, Da Cunha C, Morrow AL, Robinson DL. Front Pharmacol. 2021 Jan 14;11:608887. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2020.608887. eCollection 2020. PMID: 33519475 

Teacher Nomination of School-aged Children for Mental Health Services in a Low and Middle Income Country

To begin to bridge the LMIC child mental health care gap, teachers may be able to nominate students for care. LMIC teacher nomination of school-aged students with any mental health symptom for care has not been studied. Nineteen teachers evaluated 272 students in India. With training and a decision support tool, teachers moderately accurately nominated school-aged children for mental health services. Sustainable methods to engage teachers in student nomination for mental health care are warranted.

PI: Christina M. Cruz, MD, EdM

Christina M. Cruz , Molly M. Lamb , Karen Hampanda , Priscilla Giri , Matthew Campbell , Bijita Chowdhury , Aileen A. Giardina , Bradley N. Gaynes & Michael Matergia (2021) Teacher Nomination of School-aged Children for Mental Health Services in a Low and Middle Income Country, Global Health Action, 14:1, 1861921, DOI: 10.1080/16549716.2020.1861921

Genetics of eating disorders in the genome-wide era

This article reviews the genetic discoveries in eating disorders in the genome-wide era. As of now, there are five genome-wide association studies, all on anorexia nervosa. Several risk loci have been detected, and there is extensive genetic overlap between AN and multiple psychological traits. There are several studies underway to recruit individuals with bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder to develop further genome-wide association studies, offering new hope for understanding eating disorder etiology.

PI: Hunna Watson, PhD

Watson, H. J., Palmos, A. B., Hunjan, A., Baker, J. H., Yilmaz, Z., & Davies, H. L. (2021). Genetics of eating disorders in the genome-wide era. Psychological medicine, 1–11. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291720005474

Psychiatric genomics research during the COVID-19 pandemic: A survey of Psychiatric Genomics Consortium researchers

This survey was conducted to gather data on the impact of COVID-19 on Psychiatric Genomics Consortium members’ research and academic careers. The greatest research concern reported was by individuals in nonpermanent research positions and female researchers. Additionally, concerns about funding availability and the impact of COVID on career progression were also commonly reported.

PI: Dr. Cynthia Bulik, PhD, FAED

Guintivano, J., Dick, D., & Bulik, C. M. (2021). Psychiatric genomics research during the COVID-19 pandemic: A survey of Psychiatric Genomics Consortium researchers. American journal of medical genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric genetics : the official publication of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics, 10.1002/ajmg.b.32838. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.b.32838

DSM 5 Lifetime Psychiatric Diagnoses in Two Bariatric Surgery Programs

In this study, patients presenting for bariatric surgery were administered the Structural Clinical Interview for DSM-5. Previous studies have used previous versions of the DSM, and the goal was to compare lifetime frequencies between DSM versions. Overall, frequency of psychiatric disorders was similar or lower than prior studies, which may be due to changes in diagnostic criteria.

PI: Dr. Christine Peat, PhD

Heinberg, L. J., Mitchell, J. E., Peat, C., & Steffen, K. (2021). DSM 5 Lifetime Psychiatric Diagnoses in Two Bariatric Surgery Programs. Obesity surgery, 10.1007/s11695-021-05236-w. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-021-05236-w

Placental genomic risk scores and early neurodevelopmental outcomes

In a large group of infants, we found that genes for schizophrenia preferentially expressed in the placenta interact with perinatal birth complications to influence brain size and early cognitive development. This demonstrates that certain risk factors for schizophrenia influence the earliest phases of brain development.

PI: Dr. John Gilmore

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Feb 16;118(7):e2019789118.
doi: 10.1073/pnas.2019789118.
Placental genomic risk scores and early neurodevelopmental outcomes
Gianluca Ursini , Giovanna Punzi , Benjamin W Langworthy , Qiang Chen , Kai Xia , Emil A Cornea , Barbara D Goldman , Martin A Styner , Rebecca C Knickmeyer , John H Gilmore , Daniel R Weinberger

A case study of the feasibility of weekly tACS for the treatment of auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia

Letter to the editor describing the experiences of a single participant who completed 20 weekly 40-minute transcranial alternating current stimulation sessions. An increase in the sense of controllability over auditory hallucinations was documented via clinical interviews and a personal log kept by the participant.

PI: Flavio Frohlich PhD MSc ETH Assoc. Prof. Assoc. Vice Chair of Research

Rachel B. Force, Justin Riddle, L. Fredrik Jarskog, & Flavio Frohlich (2021) Brain Stimulation, vl 14, issue 2, March-April pages 361-363.

January 2021

Genome-Wide Association Analysis of Neonatal White Matter Microstructure

White matter, which provides the connection between different brain regions and allows fast and efficient processing of information, is often abnormal in psychiatric disease. We identified genes that influence white matter development in a large sample of newborns.

PI: John H Gilmore, Professor

Zhang J, Xia K, Ahn M, Jha SC, Blanchett R, Crowley JJ, Szatkiewicz JP, Zou F, Zhu H, Styner M, Gilmore JH, Knickmeyer RC. Cereb Cortex. 2021 Jan 5;31(2):933-948.

A simultaneous [11C] Raclopride Positron Emission Tomography and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Investigation of Striatal Dopamine Binding in Autism

Professor Gabriel Dichter, CIDD investigator and Associate Director of the UNC Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC), and his colleagues published UNC’s first simultaneous PET-MR psychiatry study in Translational Psychiatry. Using the tracer [11C]raclopride, Dr. Dichter’s lab found decreased striatal phasic dopamine release and decreased striatal activation during reward processing in individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Co-authors on this study included Erin Walsh, PhD, a UNC K awardee in Dr. Dichter’s lab who is receiving training in PET-MR methods, CIDD faculty member Jessica Kinard, PhD CCC-SLP, graduate students Rachel Phillips and Paul Cernasov in UNC’s clinical psychology program, BRIC faculty David Lalush, PhD, Eric Smith, PhD, and Zibo Li, PhD, and collaborators Jacob Hooker, PhD and Nicole Zürcher, PhD from the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Harvard University.

PI: Gabriel S. Dichter, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology & Neuroscience

Zürcher, N.R.*, Walsh, E.C.*, Phillips, R.D., Cernasov, P.M., Tseng, C.-E.J., Dharanikota, A., Smith, E., Li, Z., Kinard, J.L., Bizzell, J.C., Greene, R.K., Dillon, D., Pizzagalli, D., Izquierdo-Garcia, D., Lalush, D., Truong, K., Hooker, J.M., and Dichter, G.S. (2021). A Simultaneous [11C]Raclopride Positron Emission Tomography and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Investigation of Striatal Dopamine Binding in Autism; Translational Psychiatry ; 11(1), 33. *co-first authors. 

Recurrent Network Dynamics Shape Direction Selectivity in Primary Auditory Cortex

In our daily verbal communication, our brain needs to recognize changes in sound frequencies (voice inflections) to extract meanings—for example, upward frequency changes indicate questions in English, and upward and downward changes give different meanings to words in Mandarin. In this work, we discovered an important role of cortical recurrent networks in the extraction and encoding of sound frequency changes, which could serve as a neural substrate for vocal communication in complex human brains.

PI: Hiroyuki Kato, Assistant Professor

Authors: Destinee A. Aponte, Gregory Handy, Amber M. Kline, Hiroaki Tsukano, Brent Doiron & Hiroyuki K. Kato. 

Increased Alcohol Self-Administration Following Exposure to the Pedator Odor TMT in Active Coping Female Rats

In this paper we show that individual differences in coping strategies during stress can predict subsequent escalations in alcohol drinking.

PI: Joyce Besheer, PhD

Ornelas LC, Tyler RE, Irukulapati P, Paladugu S, Besheer J (in press) Increased alcohol self-administration following exposure to the predator odor TMT in active coping female rats. Behavioural Brain Research.

Psychometric properties of the Norwegian version of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) in a Large Female Sample of Adults with and without Eating Disorders

This study gathered data on the Norwegian Patient Health Questionnaire-9, a questionnaire used to assess depressive symptoms, among women with and without

PI: Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D

Wisting, L., Johnson, S. U., Bulik, C. M., Andreassen, O. A., Rø, Ø., & Bang, L. (2021). Psychometric properties of the Norwegian version of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) in a large female sample of adults with and without eating disorders. BMC psychiatry, 21(1), 6. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-020-03013-0

Genome-wide Association Study of Patients with a Severe Major Depressive Episode Treated with Electroconvulsive Therapy

This GWAS targeted the severe end of the MDD spectrum, looking specifically at patients who had a major depressive episode occurring in the context of major depressive disorder. Severe MDE cases had smaller genetic correlations with neuroticism and neurodevelopment disorders than moderate MDD cases but higher genetic risk scores for bipolar disorder. This suggests that there may be a different genetic architecture at the severe end of the MDD spectrum, and further study of these severe cases is supported.

PI: Dr. Patrick Sullivan

Clements, C. C., Karlsson, R., Lu, Y., Juréus, A., Rück, C., Andersson, E., Boberg, J., Pedersen, N. L., Bulik, C. M., Nordenskjöld, A., Pålsson, E., Sullivan, P. F., & Landén, M. (2021). Genome-wide association study of patients with a severe major depressive episode treated with electroconvulsive therapy. Molecular psychiatry, 10.1038/s41380-020-00984-0. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-00984-0

Shared Genetic Risk Between Eating Disorder- and Substance-use-related Phenotypes: Evidence from Genome-Wide Association Studies

This study used data from genome-wide association studies to calculate individual genetic correlations between four eating disorder- and eight substance use- phenotypes. They found significant positive associations between alcohol use disorder and AN, cannabis initiation and AN, and cannabis initiation and AN with binge eating. Additionally, there were negative correlations between smoking phenotypes and AN without binge eating, highlight the complex relationships among all of these behaviors.

PI: Dr. Melissa Munn-Chernoff

Munn-Chernoff, M. A., Johnson, E. C., Chou, Y. L., Coleman, J., Thornton, L. M., Walters, R. K., Yilmaz, Z., Baker, J. H., Hübel, C., Gordon, S., Medland, S. E., Watson, H. J., Gaspar, H. A., Bryois, J., Hinney, A., Leppä, V. M., Mattheisen, M., Ripke, S., Yao, S., Giusti-Rodríguez, P., … Agrawal, A. (2021). Shared genetic risk between eating disorder- and substance-use-related phenotypes: Evidence from genome-wide association studies. Addiction biology, 26(1), e12880. https://doi.org/10.1111/adb.12880

Pinging the Brain with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Reveals Cortical Reactivity in Time and Space

Using several advanced methods, we tested how the effects of single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the human motor cortex may be recorded in electroencephalography (EEG) as it impacts cortex excitability. Combining TMS with EEG can be used to investigate the mechanisms underlying brain network engagement.

PI: Flavio Frohlich PhD MSc ETH Associate Professor Associate Vice Chair of Research Department of Psychiatry

Ahn, S., & Fröhlich, F. (2021). Pinging the Brain with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Reveals Cortical Reactivity in Time and Space. Brain Stimulation. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brs.2021.01.018

A case study of the feasibility of weekly tACS for the treatment of auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia

We report on the successful completion of 20 weekly 40-min transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) sessions and an increase in the sense of controllability of the auditory hallucinations by the patient. Our study supports the feasibility and safety of prolonged, weekly tACS paradigms in patients with schizophrenia.

PI: Flavio Frohlich PhD MSc ETH Associate Professor Associate Vice Chair of Research Department of Psychiatry

Force, R. B., Riddle, J., Jarskog, L. F., & Fröhlich, F. (2021). A case study of the feasibility of weekly tACS for the treatment of auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia. Brain Stimulation. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brs.2021.01.014

Use of Mobile Technology Paired with Heart Rate Monitor to Remotely Quantify Behavioral Health Markers among Military Reservists and First Responders

Psychological resilience, an individual’s ability to recover from an adverse event and return to physiological homeostasis and mental well-being, can be assessed through Heart rate variability (HRV), a biological marker that reflects an individual’s autonomic nervous system regulation, indicated by higher resting HRV. The Biofeedback Assisted Resilience Training (BART) study evaluates a Digital Health Platform (DHP) intervention model to build resilience, with or without HRV biofeedback. This article evaluates the feasibility of remote psychophysiological research by validating the HRV data collected and introduces a DHP to deliver a targeted Intervention.

PI: Maria I. Davila, Research Assistant Professor

Davila MI, Kizakevich PN, Eckhoff R, Morgan J, Meleth S, Ramirez D, Morgan T, Strange LB, Lane M, Weimer B, Lewis A, Lewis GF, Hourani LI. Use of Mobile Technology Paired with Heart Rate Monitor to Remotely Quantify Behavioral Health Markers among Military Reservists and First Responders. Mil Med. 2021 Jan 25;186(Suppl 1):17-24. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usaa395. PMID: 33499533.

December 2020

Screen-detected disordered eating and related traits in a large population sample of females in mainland China: China Health and Nutrition Survey

In China, the prevalence of disordered eating in females has increased from 2009 to 2015. The distribution varies by several sociodemographic factors, which suggests new directions for detection and intervention in China in the future.

PI: Cynthia Bulik, PhD, FAED Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders

Yao, S., Zhang, R., Thornton, L. M., Peat, C. M., Qi, B., Du, S., Wang, H., Zhang, B., & Bulik, C. M. (2020). Screen-detected disordered eating and related traits in a large population sample of females in mainland China: China Health and Nutrition Survey. The International journal of eating disorders, 10.1002/eat.23409. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.23409

 

Identifying mechanisms that predict weight trajectory after bariatric surgery: rationale and design of the biobehavioral trial

Bariatric surgery is the most successful and lasting intervention for severe obesity, but many patients experience extreme weight loss or regain during post-op. This paper describes a study that will identify post-op predictors of weight loss by measuring eating behaviors, diet, and physical activity.

PI: Christine Peat, PhD, Assistant Professor

Heinberg, L. J., Bond, D. S., Carroll, I., Crosby, R., Fodor, A., Fouladi, F., Gunstad, J., Mitchell, J., Peat, C., & Steffen, K. (2020). Identifying mechanisms that predict weight trajectory after bariatric surgery: rationale and design of the biobehavioral trial. Surgery for obesity and related diseases : official journal of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery, 16(11), 1816–1826. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soard.2020.06.020

 

Emotion dysregulation and suicidality in eating disorders

This study found that emotion dysregulation may contribute to suicidality in individuals with EDs. The prevalence of suicidality differs between ED subtypes, but emotion dysregulation was found to be a risk trait for suicidality across all subtypes.

PI: Cynthia Bulik, PhD, FAED Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders

Rania, M., Monell, E., Sjölander, A., & Bulik, C. M. (2020). Emotion dysregulation and suicidality in eating disorders. The International journal of eating disorders, 10.1002/eat.23410. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.23410

 

Early impact of COVID-19 on individuals with self-reported eating disorders: A survey of ~1,000 individuals in the United States and the Netherlands

This survey revealed that participants of all eating disorder types reported increased symptoms and concerns due to COVID. On the other hand, they also reported some positive effects such as increased time for self-care and motivation to recover.

PI: Cynthia Bulik, PhD, FAED Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders

Termorshuizen, J. D., Watson, H. J., Thornton, L. M., Borg, S., Flatt, R. E., MacDermod, C. M., Harper, L. E., van Furth, E. F., Peat, C. M., & Bulik, C. M. (2020). Early impact of COVID-19 on individuals with self-reported eating disorders: A survey of ~1,000 individuals in the United States and the Netherlands. The International journal of eating disorders, 53(11), 1780–1790. https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.23353

 

Comparing eating disorder characteristics and treatment in self-identified competitive athletes and non-athletes from the National Eating Disorders Association online screening tool.

This study compared eating disorder characteristics between athletes and non-athletes. While the distribution of diagnoses was similar between the two groups, symptom profiles and frequency may differ with further research.

PI: Cynthia Bulik, PhD, FAED Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders

Flatt, R. E., Thornton, L. M., Fitzsimmons-Craft, E. E., Balantekin, K. N., Smolar, L., Mysko, C., Wilfley, D. E., Taylor, C. B., DeFreese, J. D., Bardone-Cone, A. M., & Bulik, C. M. (2020). Comparing eating disorder characteristics and treatment in self-identified competitive athletes and non-athletes from the National Eating Disorders Association online screening tool. The International journal of eating disorders, 10.1002/eat.23415. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.23415

 

Eating disorder symptoms in Asian American college students.

This study compared eating disorder characteristics between athletes and non-athletes. While the distribution of diagnoses was similar between the two groups, symptom profiles and frequency may differ with further research.

PI: Melissa Munn-Chernoff, PhD, MPE Assistant Professor

Uri, R. C., Wu, Y. K., Baker, J. H., & Munn-Chernoff, M. A. (2020). Eating disorder symptoms in Asian American college students. Eating behaviors, 40, 101458. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eatbeh.2020.101458

 

Association between food addiction and body dissatisfaction among college students: The mediating role of eating expectancies

There is an association between food addiction and body dissatisfaction in college students. This study discovered that this association is partially mediated by an eating expectancy that eating leads to feeling out of control. Addressing this eating expectancy in interventions can help better address the co-occurence of food addiction and body dissatisfaction.

PI: Jessica Baker, PhD Assistant Professor

Wu, Y. K., Zimmer, C., Munn-Chernoff, M. A., & Baker, J. H. (2020). Association between food addiction and body dissatisfaction among college students: The mediating role of eating expectancies. Eating behaviors, 39, 101441. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eatbeh.2020.101441

 

Interventions to Empower Adults with Eating Disorders and Their Partners around the Transition to Parenthood

This paper discusses the importance of researching parental eating disorders and their effects on families. Couple-focused and family based treatments for eating disorders are developing, but not universally available. Therefore, it is extremely imperative to prepare individuals with eating disorder histories for the transition to parenthood.

PI: Cynthia Bulik, PhD, FAED Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders

Sadeh-Sharvit, S., Sacks, M. R., Runfola, C. D., Bulik, C. M., & Lock, J. D. (2020). Interventions to Empower Adults with Eating Disorders and Their Partners around the Transition to Parenthood. Family process, 59(4), 1407–1422. https://doi.org/10.1111/famp.12510

 

Interventions to Empower Adults with Eating Disorders and Their Partners around the Transition to Parenthood

This paper discusses the importance of researching parental eating disorders and their effects on families. Couple-focused and family based treatments for eating disorders are developing, but not universally available. Therefore, it is extremely imperative to prepare individuals with eating disorder histories for the transition to parenthood.

PI: Cynthia Bulik, PhD, FAED Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders

Sadeh-Sharvit, S., Sacks, M. R., Runfola, C. D., Bulik, C. M., & Lock, J. D. (2020). Interventions to Empower Adults with Eating Disorders and Their Partners around the Transition to Parenthood. Family process, 59(4), 1407–1422. https://doi.org/10.1111/famp.12510

 

Alternative Frameworks for Advancing the Study of Eating Disorders

The basic underlying mechanisms of eating disorders are understudied, and this paper identifies new avenues of research that can help develop informed prevention and treatment interventions. One of these avenues is studying neuroimmune diseases with restrictive feeding components to provide insight into the biological component of eating disorders.

PI: Cynthia Bulik, PhD, FAED Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders

Stern, S. A., & Bulik, C. M. (2020). Alternative Frameworks for Advancing the Study of Eating Disorders. Trends in neurosciences, 43(12), 951–959. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tins.2020.10.001

 

Using digital imagery to quantify students’ added sugar intake at lunch in Title I schools with universal free meals

This study looked at the added sugar component of school meals. Students’ on average added sugar consumption fell within daily Dietary Guidelines for Americans, supporting the claim that school lunches are low in added sugar.

PI: Laura Thornton, PhD Assistant Professor

Adams, E. L., Raynor, H. A., Thornton, L. M., Mazzeo, S. E., & Bean, M. K. (2020). Using digital imagery to quantify students’ added sugar intake at lunch in Title I schools with universal free meals. Preventive medicine reports, 20, 101253. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2020.101253

 

November 2020

Prepronociceptin-Expressing Neurons in the Extended Amygdala Encode and Promote Rapid Arousal Responses to Motivational Salient Stimuli

Prenatal exposures to different substances impact fetal/infant brain development of functional connectivity (FC) in different patterns during neonatal functional MRI. Connections that showed significant drug effects also demonstrated significant correlations with 3-month behavioral outcomes, and mediation analyses supported a mediation role of the detected brain FCs between PDE status and cognitive/language outcomes

PI: Jose Rodriguez-Romaguera, PhD

Rodriguez-Romaguera J*, Ung RL*, Nomura H, Otis JM, Basiri ML, Namboodiri VMK, Zhu X, Robinson JE, van den Munkhof HE, McHenry JA, Eckman LEH, Kosyk O, Jhou TC, Kash TL, Bruchas MR and Stuber GD. (2020) “Prepronociceptin-expressing neurons in the extended amygdala encode and promote rapid arousal responses to motivational salient stimuli”. *co-first authors. Cell Reports, 33, 108362.

 

Functional Dissection of Prenatal Drug Effects on Baby Brain and Behavioral Development

Prenatal exposures to different substances impact fetal/infant brain development of functional connectivity (FC) in different patterns during neonatal functional MRI. Connections that showed significant drug effects also demonstrated significant correlations with 3-month behavioral outcomes, and mediation analyses supported a mediation role of the detected brain FCs between PDE status and cognitive/language outcomes

MPI’s: Karen Grewen, Professor of Psychiatry, UNC Chapel Hill; Wei Gao, Ph.D., Associate Professor Radiology, Cedars Sinai Medical Center

Salzwedel A, Chen G, Chen Y, Grewen K, Gao W.
Hum Brain Mapp. 2020 Dec;41(17):4789-4803. doi: 10.1002/hbm.25158. Epub 2020 Aug 11.
PMID: 32779835

 

HPA axis regulation and epigenetic programming of immune-related genes in chronically stressed and non-stressed mid-life women

Highlights
• Blunted regulation of the stress response is associated with lower peripheral blood TNF and FKBP5 methylation
• Caregiving stress burden is associated with lower peripheral blood IL6 methylation
• Lower TNF methylation is associated with higher TNF expression after immune cell stimulation

PI:  Anthony Zannas, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Genetics

Palma-Gudiel H, Prather AA, Lin J, Oxendine JD, Guintivano J, Xia K, Rubinow DR, Wolkowitz O, Epel ES, Zannas AS. Brain Behav Immun. 2020 Nov 19

 

Reconsidering Scarce Drug Rationing: Implications for Clinical Research

We present a case of a national drug shortage of intravenous thiamine in the context of a phase II trial of intravenous thiamine for delirium prevention in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation to emphasize several shortcomings in the overarching ethical prioritization of clinical over research uses of scarce drugs.

PI: Zev Nakamura, MD, Assistant Professor

Nakamura ZM, MacKay DP, Davis AM, Brassfield ER, Joyner BL Jr, Rosenstein DL.
Reconsidering scarce drug rationing: implications for clinical research.
J Med Ethics. 2020 Nov 27:medethics-2020-106739. doi: 10.1136/medethics-2020-106739.
Online ahead of print.
PMID: 33246996

 

Self-Compassion and Current Close Interpersonal Relationships: A Scoping Literature Review

This is a scoping review on literature that links self-compassion with outcomes in close personal relationships.

PI: Karen Bluth, PhD

Lathren, C., Rao, S., Park, J., Bluth, K. (in press). Self-Compassion and Current Close Interpersonal Relationships: A Scoping Literature Review. Mindfulness.

October 2020

Individual Variation of Human Cortical Structure is Established in the First Years of Life.

Most psychiatric illnesses are associated with abnormalities of brain structure, though it is not known when these abnormalities arise in development. We found that individual differences in cortical structure are present very early in life, indicating that abnormalities associated with psychiatric disease may be present early in childhood, and that interventions to normalize brain development and decrease risk may need to be targeted to early childhood.

PI: John Gilmore, MD

Gilmore JH, Langworthy BW, Girault JB, Fine J, Jha SC, Kim SH, Cornea E, Styner M. Individual variation of human cortical structure is established in the first years of life. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. 2020 Jun 9:S2451-9022(20)30137-3. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2020.05.012. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32741702.

 

Low-dose Alcohol: Interoceptive and Molecular Effects and the Role of Dentate Gyrus in Rats

Most research on alcohol use focuses on the consequences of moderate to high levels of alcohol. However, even at low concentrations, alcohol is capable of producing effects in the brain that can ultimately affect behavior. Here we show that a low alcohol dose modulates expression of immediate early genes in brain regions in a variety of brain regions and that the dentate gyrus (a subregion of the hippocampus) is involved in modulating the interoceptive/subjective effects of a low dose of alcohol.

PI: Joyce Besheer, MD

Patrick A Randall, Dennis F Lovelock, Kalynn VanVoorhies, Verda E Agan, Thomas L Kash, Joyce Besheer (in press). Low-dose alcohol: Interoceptive and molecular effects and the role of dentate gyrus in rats. Addiction Biology.

 

Subdural Hemorrhage in Asymptomatic Neonates: Neurodevelopemntal Outcomes and MRI Findings at 2 years

We previously found that a significant number of newborns have asymptomatic subdural hemorrhages after vaginal birth. It is not known if these bleeds impact cognitive development. We found that children with these neonatal bleeds are developing normally at age 2 years, a reassuring finding.

PI: John Gilmore, MD

Zamora C, Sams C, Cornea EA, Yuan Z, Smith JK, Gilmore JH. Subdural hemorrhage in asymptomatic neonates: Neurodevelopemntal outcomes and MRI findings at 2 years. Radiology 2020 doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2020201857 Online ahead of print. PMID: 33107801

 

Association Between Depression and HIV Care Engagement Outcomes Among Patients Newly Initiating ART in Lilongwe, Malawi

The prevalence of depression among this population of adults newly initiating ART was 27%. Depression at ART initiation was not associated with either retention or viral suppression. Further investigation of the relationship between depression and HIV is needed to understand the ways depression impacts the different aspects of HIV care engagement.

PI: Bradley Gaines, MD

Stockton MA, Gaynes BN, Hosseinipour MC, Pettifor AE, Maselko J, Mphonda SM, Kulisewa K, Udedi M, Pence BW. AIDS Behav. 2020 Sep 24. doi: 10.1007/s10461-020-03041-7. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32970274.

 

Prepronociceptin expressing neurons in the extended amygdala encode and promote rapid arousal responses to motivational salient stimuli

Rodriguez-Romaguera et al. find an ensemble of neurons within the extended amygdala (BNST) that expresses the prepronociceptin gene and functions to encode the rapid arousal responses that are triggered by motivational stimuli.

PI: Jose Rodriguez-Romaguera, PhD and Garret Stuber, PhD

Rodriguez-Romaguera J*, Ung RL*, Nomura H, Otis JM, Basiri ML, Namboodiri VMK, Zhu X, Robinson JE, van den Munkhof HE, McHenry JA, Eckman LEH, Kosyk O, Jhou TC, Kash TL, Bruchas MR and Stuber GD. “Prepronociceptin expressing neurons in the extended amygdala encode and promote rapid arousal responses to motivational salient stimuli”. *co-first authors. Cell Reports. 33(6):108362. *Equal contribution

 

Phenotyping CCL2 Containing Central Amygdala Neurons Controlling Alcohol Withdrawal-Induced Anxiety

Neuroimmune proteins, such as chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2), are altered by environmental factors, such as drugs of abuse and stress, and are thought to play a role in many important associated behaviors. This paper shows that in the case of an alcohol related behavior, CCL2 from neurons alters behavior indicating that non-immune cells of the nervous system are an important source of CCL2 related to behavior.

PI: Kathryn Harper, PhD and George Breese, PhD

Harper Kathryn M., Knapp Darin J., Todd Caroline A., Balan Irina, Aurelian Laure, Criswell Hugh E., Breese George R., Phenotyping CCL2 Containing Central Amygdala Neurons Controlling Alcohol Withdrawal-Induced Anxiety. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 14. 2020. 296. DOI=10.3389/fncel.2020.580583

September 2020

Serial Assessment of Depression and Anxiety by Patients and Providers in Women Receiving Chemotherapy for Early Breast Cancer

This study evaluated patient and provider reported depression and anxiety symptoms during chemotherapy for breast cancer. The prevalence of these symptoms doubled during treatment with 26% reporting at least moderately severe depression and 41% reporting at least moderately severe anxiety during chemotherapy.

PI: Zev Nakamura, MD

Zev M Nakamura, Allison M Deal, Kirsten A Nyrop, Yi Tang Chen, Laura J Quillen, Tucker Brenizer, Hyman B Muss Serial Assessment of Depression and Anxiety by Patients and Providers in Women Receiving Chemotherapy for Early Breast Cancer Oncologist. 2020 Sep 18. doi: 10.1002/onco.13528.

 

Deficits in auditory predictive coding in individuals with the psychosis risk syndrome: Prediction of conversion to psychosis

Brain electrophysiological responses to expected pattern of auditory information and deviations form these expected patterns are key aspects of pattern recognition and prediction of environmental expectations. This research demonstrates that the ability to generate predictive coding to identify repetition of auditory patterns and detection of information deviation is impaired in psychosis, deficits precede psychosis onset and predict future psychosis risk in Psychosis Risk Syndrome (PRS) individuals.

PI: Aysenil Belger, Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Director Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

Authors: Fryer SL, Roach BJ, Hamilton HK, Bachman P, Belger A, Carrión RE, Duncan E, Johannesen J, Light GA, Niznikiewicz M, Addington J, Bearden CE, Cadenhead KS, Cannon TD, Cornblatt BA, McGlashan TH, Perkins DO, Seidman L, Tsuang M, Walker EF, Woods SW, Mathalon DH.
Publication: J Abnorm Psychol.
Date: 2020 Aug;129(6):599-611.
doi: 10.1037/abn0000513.
PMID: 32757603

 

Neonatal brain connectivity outliers identify over forty percent of IQ outliers at 4 years of age

This paper continues to explore approaches to improve our understanding of how early brain functional connectivity can be used to predict later IQ.

PI: John Gilmore, Eure Professor and Vice Chair for Research

Neonatal brain connectivity outliers identify over forty percent of IQ outliers at 4 years of age.
Gao W, Chen Y, Cornea E, Goldman BD, Gilmore JH. Brain Behav. 2020 Sep 17:e01846. doi: 10.1002/brb3.1846. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32945129 

 

The Subgrouping Structure of Newborns with Heterogenous Brain-Behavior Relationships

This study explores a novel approach to understanding how heterogeneous functional brain connections in newborns can be used to precinct IQ at 4 years of age. This paper is part of an ongoing effort to identify early childhood imaging biomarkers of behavioral outcomes a risk for psychiatric disease.

PI: John Gilmore, Eure Professor and Vice Chair for Research

The Subgrouping Structure of Newborns with Heterogenous Brain-Behavior Relationships.
Chen Y, Liu S, Salzwedel A, Stephens R, Cornea E, Goldman BD, Gilmore JH, Gao W. Cereb Cortex. 2020 Sep 18:bhaa226. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhaa226. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32946557

 

The synthetically produced predator odor 2,5-dihydro-2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline increases alcohol self-administration and alters basolateral amygdala response to alcohol in rats

In this paper we show that a single exposure to a stressor induced a lasting increase in alcohol drinking and blunted neuronal activation in the amygdala in response to alcohol. These studies outline and utilize a novel preclinical model that can be used to further neurobiological understanding of the emergence of escalated alcohol consumption following stress exposure

PI: Joyce Besheer, PhD

Makhijani VH, Franklin JP, Van Voorhies K, Fortino B, Besheer J (in press) The synthetically produced predator odor 2,5-dihydro-2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline increases alcohol self-administration and alters basolateral amygdala response to alcohol in rats. Psychopharmacology.

August 2020

Cognitive Function in Patients Prior to Undergoing Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

This study evaluated cognitive function in patients presenting to the hospital for bone marrow transplantation. Investigators identified that patients with greater number of medical problems and history of alcohol or substance use were at increased risk for worse cognitive function.

PI: Zev Nakamura, MD

Zev M Nakamura, Allison M Deal, Donald L Rosenstein, Laura J Quillen, Stephanie A Chien, William A Wood, Thomas C Shea, Eliza M Park. Support Care Cancer. 2020 Aug 23. doi: 10.1007/s00520-020-05697-2. PMID: 32829465.

 

Functional Dissection of Prenatal Drug Effects on Baby Brain and Behavioral Development

Prenatal drug exposure is known to affect fetal brain development with documented long-term consequences. In this study, we studied the effects of six prenatally exposed drugs (i.e., nicotine, alcohol, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, marijuana, cocaine, and opioids) on neonatal whole-brain functional organization and compared them with five other critical nondrug variables (i.e., gestational age at birth/scan, sex, birth weight, and maternal depression).

PI: Karen Grewen, PhD

Salzwedel A, Chen G, Chen Y, Grewen K, Gao W. (2020 Aug 11 Online ahead of print).
Functional dissection of prenatal drug effects on baby brain and behavioral development, Hum Brain Mapp.

 

The NIMH Global Mental Health Research Community and COVID-19

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) supports a network of global research Hubs designed to address questions that arise as low- and middle-income countries widely implement sustainable, evidence-based mental health services. These so-called “NIMH Scale-Up Hubs” are interdisciplinary, with interest and expertise of the people involved in increasing the reach, accessibility, adoption, quality, costs, and effectiveness of mental health services, enhancing collaborative learning and development, building local capacity for implementation research, and establishing relationships with governmental, non-governmental, and community-based stakeholders. We present examples of replicable programs that can support the United Nation’s call for addressing the mental health and well-being of whole societies have been severely impacted by this crisis and are a priority to be addressed urgently.

PI: Bradley N. Gaynes, MD,MPH

Rahman A, Naslund JA, Betancourt TS, Black CJ, Bhan A, Byansi W, Chen H, Gaynes BN, et al. The NIMH global mental health research community and COVID-19 [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 21]. Lancet Psychiatry. 2020;S2215-0366(20)30347-3. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30347-3

 

Exposure to the Predator Odor TMT Induces Early and Late Differential Gene Expression Related to Stress and Excitatory Synaptic Function throughout the Brain in Male Rats

In this paper we show that a single exposure to a stressor induces molecular adaptations in the brain related to stress and excitatory systems. These findings from this preclinical study could help us understand the persistent glutamatergic dysfunction observed in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PI: Joyce Besheer, PhD

Ryan E Tyler, Benjamin Z S Weinberg, Dennis F Lovelock, Laura C Ornelas, Joyce Besheer (in press) Exposure to the predator odor TMT induces early and late differential gene expression related to stress and excitatory synaptic function throughout the brain in male rats. Genes Brain, and Behavior.

 

Potential Roles of Redox Dysregulation in the Development of Schizophrenia

Most people have heard that “antioxidants” are “good” for our health, implying that “oxidants” are “bad”. When uncontrolled oxidants damage our bodies, but oxidants are not “all bad”, as oxidants are also needed, in controlled doses, to regulate normal cellular functions. We propose that impaired regulation of oxidant levels contributes to risk of schizophrenia and that molecules controlling oxidant levels are attractive drug targets for individualized drug therapy trials for the contexts of prevention and treatment of schizophrenia.

PI: Diana Perkins, MD, MPH

Perkins DO, Jeffries CD, Do KQ. Potential Roles of Redox Dysregulation in the Development of Schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry. 2020 Aug 15;88(4):326-336. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2020.03.016

 

Deficits in Auditory Predictive Coding in Individuals with the Psychosis Risk Syndrome: Prediction of Conversion to Psychosis

We found that a measure of brain electrical activity, as recorded by EEG, predicted later development of psychosis.

PI: Diana Perkins, MD, MPH

Fryer SL, Roach BJ, Hamilton HK, et al. Deficits in auditory predictive coding in individuals with the psychosis risk syndrome: Prediction of conversion to psychosis. J Abnorm Psychol. 2020;129(6):599-611. doi:10.1037/abn0000513

 

Associations Between Childhood Adversity, Cognitive Schemas and Attenuated Psychotic Symptoms

An indication of when childhood trauma make increase psychosis vulnerability may be when the child then intends to generally interpret other people as threatening.

PI: Diana Perkins, MD, MPH

LoPilato AM, Zhang Y, Pike M, Addington J, Bearden CE, Cadenhead KS, Cannon TD, Cornblatt BA, Mathalon DH, McGlashan TH, Seidman L, Perkins DO, Tsuang MT, Woods SW, Walker EF. Associations between childhood adversity, cognitive schemas and attenuated psychotic symptoms. Early Interv Psychiatry. 2020 Aug 7. doi: 10.1111/eip.13017.

 

June 2020

 

A Nexus Model of Restricted Interests in Autism Spectrum Disorder

This paper proposes a new way to understand restricted interests in autism. This model suggests that brain networks that typically process social information may instead to process restricted interests instead.

PI: Gabriel Dichter, PhD

Carter, R.M.; Jung, H., Reaven, J., Blakeley-Smith, A., Dichter, G.S.; (2020); Frontiers in Human Neuroscience: Cognitive Neuroscience. Manuscript ID: 527958

 

A Systematic Review of Validated Screening Tools for Anxiety Disorders and PTSD in Low to Middle Income Countries

We conducted a systematic review of validated screening tools for detecting anxiety and PTSD in LMICs. While the use of brief screening instruments can bring much needed attention and research opportunities to various at-risk LMIC populations, many have been validated in inadequately designed studies, precluding any general recommendation for specific tools in LMICs. Locally validated screening tools for anxiety and PTSD need further evaluation in well-designed studies to assess whether they can improve the detection and management of these common disorders.

PI: Bradley Gaynes, MD, MPH

Mughal AY, Devadas J, Ardman E, Levis B, Go VF, Gaynes BN. BMC Psychiatry. 2020 Jun 30;20(1):338. doi: 10.1186/s12888-020-02753-3.PMID: 32605551

 

The Role of Patient-Provider Communication: a qualitative study of patient attitudes regarding co-occurring depression and chronic diseases in Malawi

Depression interventions alone are not effective at improving general medical outcomes, resulting in wide-reaching calls for integrated services. Integrated services are in a nascent phase in low- and middle-incomes in general and in Malawi in particular. This manuscript serves to clarify Malawian patients’ attitudes and perceptions towards depression integration into routine general medical services. We found that training and interventions that facilitate providers’ abilities to transfer their medical knowledge, use strategies to channel their power, and engage patients in a meaningful and collaborative relationship will be key to successfully integrating depression treatment into Malawian general medical clinics.

PI: Bradley Gaynes, MD, MPH

Akiba CF, Zimba CC, Thom A, Matewere M, Go V, Pence B, Gaynes BN, Masiye J. BMC Psychiatry. 2020 May 19;20(1):243. doi: 10.1186/s12888-020-02657-2.PMID: 32429877

 

Harmonized Outcome Measures for Use in Depression Patient Registries and Clinical Practice

This project aimed to develop a minimum set of standardized outcome measures relevant to both patients and clinicians that can be collected in depression registries and clinical practice. A multistakeholder panel representing clinicians; payers; government agencies; industry; and medical specialty, health care quality, and patient advocacy organizations categorized the 27 identified measures using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s supported Outcome Measures Framework. The panel identified 10 broadly relevant measures and harmonized definitions for these measures through in-person and virtual meetings, representing a minimum set of outcomes that are relevant to clinicians and patients and appropriate for use in depression research and clinical practice. Routine and consistent collection of these measures in registries and other systems would support creation of a national research infrastructure to efficiently address new questions, improve patient management and outcomes, and facilitate care coordination.

PI: Bradley Gaynes, MD, MPH

Gliklich RE, Leavy MB, Cosgrove L, Simon GE, Gaynes BN, Peterson LE, Olin B, Cole C, DePaulo JR Jr, Wang P, Crowe CM, Cusin C, Nix M, Berliner E, Trivedi MH. Ann Intern Med. 2020 Jun 16;172(12):803-809. doi: 10.7326/M19-3818. Epub 2020 May 12.PMID: 32422056

 

Eating Disorders in a Community-based Sample of Women with Alcohol Use Disorder and Nicotine Dependence

Women with lifetime diagnoses of alcohol use disorder and nicotine dependence are at high risk for eating disorder symptoms and diagnoses, underscoring the importance of assessing eating disorder symptoms among women with these disorders.

PI: Melissa Munn-Chernoff, PhD, MPE

Munn-Chernoff MA, Few LR, Matherne CE, Baker JH, Men VY, McCutcheon VV, Agrawal A, Bucholz KK, Madden PAF, Heath AC, Duncan AE. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2020 Jul 1;212:107981. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.107981. Epub 2020 Apr 25. PMID: 32442752

 

Genome-Wide Gene-Environment Analyses of Major Depressive Disorder and Reported Lifetime Traumatic Experiences in UK Biobank

Depression is more frequent among individuals exposed to traumatic events. Both trauma exposure and depression are heritable. However, the relationship between these traits, including the role of genetic risk factors, is complex and poorly understood. When modelling trauma exposure as an environmental influence on depression, both gene-environment correlations and gene-environment interactions have been observed. The UK Biobank concurrently assessed Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and self-reported lifetime exposure to traumatic events in 126,522 genotyped individuals of European ancestry.

PI: Patrick Sullivan, MD, FRANZCP

Coleman JRI, Peyrot WJ, Purves KL, et al., Mol Psychiatry. 2020 May 18;:]. Mol Psychiatry. 2020;25(7):1430-1446. doi:10.1038/s41380-019-0546-6

 

The Genetics of the Mood Disorder Spectrum: Genome-wide Association Analyses of More Than 185,000 Cases and 439,000 Controls

Mood disorders (including major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder) affect 10% to 20% of the population. They range from brief, mild episodes to severe, incapacitating conditions that markedly impact lives. Multiple approaches have shown considerable sharing of risk factors across mood disorders despite their diagnostic distinction.

PI: Patrick Sullivan, MD, FRANZCP

Coleman JRI, Gaspar HA, Bryois J; Bipolar Disorder Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium; Major Depressive Disorder Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, Biol Psychiatry. 2020;88(2):169-184. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.10.015

 

Chronicity and Sex Affect Genetic Risk Prediction in Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a severe mental disorder with immense personal and societal costs; identifying individuals at risk is therefore of utmost importance. Genomic risk profile scores (GRPS) have been shown to significantly predict cases-control status. Making use of a large-population based sample from Sweden, we replicate a previous finding demonstrating that the GRPS is strongly correlated with admission frequency and chronicity of SCZ. Furthermore, we were able to show a substantial gap in prediction accuracy between males and females. In sum, our results indicate that prediction accuracy by GRPS depends on clinical and demographic characteristics.

PI: Patrick Sullivan, MD, FRANZCP

Sandra M Meier, Anna K Kähler, Sarah E Bergen, Patrick F Sullivan, Christina M Hultman, Manuel Mattheisen, Front Psychiatry 2020 Jun 9;11:313. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00313. eCollection 2020

 

Robust Hi-C Maps of Enhancer-Promoter Interactions Reveal the Function of Non-coding Genome in Neural Development and Diseases

Joint analysis of multiple traits can result in the identification of associations not found through the analysis of each trait in isolation. Studies of neuropsychiatric disorders and congenital heart disease (CHD) which use de novo mutations (DNMs) from parent-offspring trios have reported multiple putatively causal genes. However, a joint analysis method designed to integrate DNMs from multiple studies has yet to be implemented. We here introduce multiple-trait TADA (mTADA) which jointly analyzes two traits using DNMs from non-overlapping family samples.

PI: Patrick Sullivan, MD, FRANZCP

Tan-Hoang Nguyen, Amanda Dobbyn, Ruth C Brown, Brien P Riley, Joseph D Buxbaum, Dalila Pinto, Shaun M Purcell, Patrick F Sullivan, Xin He, Eli A Stahl’ Nat Commun. 2020 Jun 10;11(1):2929. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-16487-z

 

Dynamic Eye Tracking as a Predictor and Outcome Measure of Social Skills Intervention in Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

This study shows that an eye tracking measure may indicate whether a treatment is effective for adolescents and adults with autism.

PI: Gabriel Dichter, PhD

Greene, R.K., Parish-Morris, J., Sullivan, M., Kinard, J.L., Mosner, M.G., Turner-Brown, L.M., Penn, D.L., Wiesen, C.A., Pallathra, A.A., Brodkin, E.S., Schultz, R.T., and Dichter, G.S. (in press).

 

Design of a Randomized Placebo Controlled Trial of High Dose Intravenous Thiamine for the Prevention of Delirium in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

Dr. Nakamura and colleagues have designed a highly novel and innovative study investigating the use of high dose vitamin B1 to prevent delirium – a common and consequential neuropsychiatric condition in hospital settings – in patients receiving bone marrow transplantation.

PI: Zev Nakamura, MD

Nakamura ZM, Deal AM, Rosenstein DL, Quillen LJ, Chien SA, Wood WA, Shea TC, Park EM. Contemp Clin Trials. 2020 June 30:106076. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32619524.

 

Extra-axial Cerebrospinal Fluid Relationships to Infant Brain Structure, Cognitive Development, and Risk for Schizophrenia

Excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) around the brain is a potential imaging biomarker of risk for autism in young children. This study characterized extra-axial CSF in a large sample of typically developing children and children at risk for schizophrenia and found that neither group has the amount seen in autism, suggesting it may be a good biomarker of risk for autism and related disorders.

PI: John Gilmore, MD

Murphy VA, Shen MA, Kim SH, Cornea E, Styner M, Gilmore JH. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. 2020 5:651-659.

 

White Matter Development from Birth to 6 years of age: a longitudinal study

White matter provides the connections between different parts of the brain and is altered in psychiatric disorders. We studied how white matter develops in early childhood to provide a basis of comparison for future studies of children at risk for psychiatric disorders.

PI: John Gilmore, MD

Stephens RL, Langworthy BW, Short SJ, Girault JB, Styner MA, Gilmore JH. Cerebral Cortex 2020: doi 10.1093/cercor/bhaa170 [Epub ahead of print].

 

Exploring the relationship between geomagnetic activity and human heart rate variability.

Does space weather (sun spots, solar flares) modulate human physiology as previously claimed? With the correct statistical methods, the answer seems to be “no.”

PI: Flavio Frohlich, PhD

Mattoni M, Ahn S, Fröhlich C, Fröhlich F. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2020 Jun;120(6):1371-1381.

 

Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) Polymorphism may Influence the Efficacy of tACS to Modulate Neural Oscillations.

One small mutation in a gene appears to modulate the response of the brain to a novel form non-invasive brain stimulation that we study for the treatment of depression and schizophrenia.

PI: Flavio Frohlich, PhD

Riddle J, McPherson T, Atkins AK, Walker CP, Ahn S, Frohlich F.

 

Neuromodulation of Sleep Rhythms in Schizophrenia: Towards the rational design of non-invasive brain stimulation.

We propose that brain stimulation during sleep has promise as a potential new treatment for symptoms of schizophrenia.

PI: Flavio Frohlich, PhD

Fröhlich F, Lustenberger C. Schizophr Res. 2020 Jul;221:71-80.