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So far Charlotte has created 10 blog entries.
14 05, 2019

Jill

Jill I’ll never forget the day that he climbed the spiral staircase to my office. Each step was a strain and by the time he reached the top step and sat down beside me, his breathing was hard and heavy. I asked, "How's your back?" He answered, "Jill, I would live the rest of my life with daily back pain if I could only stop the demons in my head." That was about 15 years ago and "he" was Thad Eure, III. I was never able to fully comprehend how a person suffering with mental illness feels. I still don't. But I know that those of us not suffering should be more empathetic and understanding and patient. We should realize that even if we can't "see" how a friend may be afflicted, their demons are [...]

9 07, 2018

Predicting the Trajectory of Restrictive Eating in Childhood from Genetic Risk for Anorexia Nervosa | Zerwas | $45,000

Predicting the Trajectory of Restrictive Eating in Childhood from Genetic Risk for Anorexia Nervosa 2016 Award: $45,000 Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness, and is also extremely difficult to treat—treatment typically relies on supportive therapy, with no actual medications designed to target the core biology of the illness. “Picky eating” in childhood can be a warning that anorexia will develop later in adulthood, but little is known about the genetic reasons for this behavior. This project will comb the comprehensive, long-term Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study for genetic and/or environmental clues that point to restrictive eating behavior, with the ultimate goal of preventing this devastating illness in its earliest stages. Need/Problem: Restrictive or picky eating in childhood has been associated with risk for anorexia nervosa, a serious and perplexing psychiatric disorder. Our recent [...]

9 07, 2018

Establishing Network Targets during Development for Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation | Li | $37,549

Establishing Network Targets during Development for Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation 2016 Award: $37,549 There is some evidence to suggest that directly stimulating the brain with a targeted, low-level electrical current may yield positive effects on certain cognitive disorders. By extension, this study will attempt to learn whether non-invasive brain stimulation can be a successful method of treating schizophrenia in its earliest phases (most typically manifesting in young adults). Need/Problem: Some psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia are neurodevelopment diseases which require earlier diagnose and prevention far before the onset of symptoms. Grant Summary: This grant is innovative in that it will target the brain in early development stage to predict and prevent psychiatric disorder. Goals & Projected Outcomes: The goal of this study is to set up an animal model of schizophrenia and investigate the animals’ behavioral in adulthood as well [...]

9 07, 2018

Prospective Identification of Individuals with a Brain Overgrowth Form of Autism | Piven, Zylka, Stein | $40,000

Prospective Identification of Individuals with a Brain Overgrowth Form of Autism 2017 Award: $40,000 This grant will take a first step towards developing a polygenic risk score for brain overgrowth in a large sample of human neural progenitor cells. Understanding the genetic basis of brain overgrowth will enable the development of this important tool for identification of infants at increased risk for the overgrowth form of autism in the general population. Need/Problem: Early (pre-symptomatic) brain overgrowth has emerged as a primary mechanism underlying the development of later autism in a subset of infants at high familial risk for this disorder.  Understanding the genetic basis of brain overgrowth will enable the development of a genetic tool (genetic risk score for brain overgrowth) for identification of infants at increased risk for the overgrowth form of autism in the general population. Grant [...]

9 07, 2018

Alcohol Intoxication Mediated Through Medial Septal Circuitry | Knapp | $39,210

Alcohol Intoxication Mediated Through Medial Septal Circuitry 2017 Award: $39,210 In this research, researchers will use a novel mouse line to test the involvement of a specific neural circuit in brain in controlling alcohol intoxication. Selected cells in this circuit will be manipulated in an attempt to enhance or diminish the magnitude of intoxication. If the role of the circuit and cells can be shown, future work would expand the analysis of the neural connections to this circuit with the goal of inspiring novel avenues for therapeutic intervention in alcohol used disorders. Need/Problem: A complete understanding of the brain mechanisms of alcohol intoxication has remained elusive.  Research devoted to defining the neurocircuits of intoxication with state of the art neurobiological tools offers an opportunity to make advances in our understanding. Grant Summary:  This grant offers a novel approach to [...]

9 07, 2018

Effects of a Tissue Selective Estrogen Complex (TSEC) on Depression and the Neural Reward System in the Perimenopause | Schiller | $40,000

Effects of a Tissue Selective Estrogen Complex (TSEC) on Depression and the Neural Reward System in the Perimenopause 2016 Award: $40,000 Owing largely to a steep drop in estrogen production, perimenopausal women are 14 times more likely to experience symptoms of depression than premenopausal women. While estrogen therapy can alleviate symptoms of depression, it’s also associated with an increased risk of breast and uterine cancer, and so many women decline it. However, a promising new FDA-approved drug bolsters estrogen while mitigating cancer risks. Researchers will test this drug’s capacity to alleviate depression in women whose symptoms have manifested with the onset of menopause. Need/Problem: The risk for developing depression increases 14-fold during the transition to menopause. Despite evidence that estrogen plays a role in depression during menopause, the use of estrogen replacement therapy remains controversial, in part, because of [...]

9 07, 2018

Excitation-inhibition Imbalance in Autistic Auditory Cortex and its Effects on Spectro-temporal Sound Integration | Kato | $100,000

Excitation-inhibition imbalance in autistic auditory cortex and its effects on spectro-temporal sound integration 2017 Award: $100,000 Recent studies on autistic patients have accumulated rich knowledge on these diseases at both genetic and behavioral levels. However, we still know little about the neuronal circuit mechanisms that connect the gene mutations to the behavioral deficits. Researchers will study how disturbed interplay between excitatory and inhibitory neurons leads to auditory processing deficits in autistic brains. The circuit-level knowledge obtained in this study will help identifying the novel therapeutic entry points for developing future treatments. Need/Problem: In social species like humans, hearing is of particular importance for vocal communication among conspecifics. In this research, we aim to understand the neuronal circuit mechanisms that lead to disturbed auditory processing in autistic brains. Grant Summary: Using autism mouse models, we will elucidate the interplay of [...]

9 07, 2018

Randomized controlled trial of pyridoxine for tardive dyskinesia | Jarskog | $99,900

Randomized controlled trial of pyridoxine for tardive dyskinesia 2017 Award: $99,900 To date, the only effective medications to treat the symptoms associated with schizophrenia are the “antipsychotic” class of medications. Unfortunately, these medications have many possible side effects, including involuntary muscle movements known as tardive dyskinesia (TD). There is a small body of evidence, however, to suggest that pyridoxine (also known as Vitamin B6) may help alleviate the symptoms of TD; this study will build on that research, and test whether pyridoxine represents an effective treatment. Need/Problem: Involuntary muscle movements can emerge after long-term treatment with antipsychotic medications. This condition is called tardive dyskinesia (TD) and there are few treatments available for this debilitating and stigmatizing condition. Grant Summary: This project will test whether pyridoxine represents an effective treatment for tardive dyskinesia (TD). Goals and Projected Outcomes: Measure involuntary [...]

3 07, 2018

Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) for Severe and Enduring Anorexia Nervosa (SE-AN) | Bulik | $33,249

Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) for Severe and Enduring Anorexia Nervosa (SE-AN) 2016 Award: $33,249 Researchers will attempt to determine what relationship, if any, exists between the presence (or absence) of normal intestinal bacteria and symptoms of anorexia. Ten individuals suffering from Severe and Enduring Anorexia Nervosa (SE-AN) will receive weekly doses of either a prepared fecal microbiota mixture or a placebo, and the results measured over time. If a correlation exists, it may be possible to treat SE-AN sufferers with regular infusions of helpful gut flora. Need/Problem: Anorexia nervosa is a severe biologically based mental illness that has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. Among those who survive is a subgroup of individuals with severe and enduring anorexia nervosa (SE-AN). Despite ongoing treatment, these individuals develop a chronic and relapsing course, experience high medical and psychiatric comorbidity, [...]

3 07, 2018

BEGIN (Binge Eating Genetics INitiative) | Bulik | $40,000

BEGIN (Binge Eating Genetics INitiative) 2017 Award: $40,000 BEGIN is the first study of its kind to combine a genome-wide association study with an investigation of microbes across five bodily sites, coupled with capture of behavioral features (binge eating, purging, exercise, sleep) and mood using the Recovery Record app adapted to Apple Watch technology. We will paint a rich biological and behavioral picture of binge-eating disorder and bulimia nervosa that will allow us to identify genetic and microbiota contributors to disorder risk and maintenance; identify genomic, microbiota, and behavioral predictors of outcome; and to build algorithms that predict behavioral events (e.g., impending binges or purges) to enable real-time intervention via wearable technology. Need/Problem: Binge-eating disorder (BED) and bulimia nervosa (BN) are serious and costly eating disorders. Our genetic studies on anorexia nervosa are shedding novel light into the metabolic [...]