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So far Charlotte has created 22 blog entries.
9 07, 2018

Identifying Key Metabolites in the Microbiome-Gut-Brain Axis During Infancy | Santelli & Gilmore | $64,881

Identifying Key Metabolites in the Microbiome-Gut-Brain Axis During Infancy Award: $64,881 The human gastrointestinal system contains a vastly complex system of microbes. We know that the composition and interactions of these microbial communities impact our neurodevelopment, cognition, and emotional behavior, but how is still largely unclear. Researchers will study the interactions between gut bacteria, bacterial gene expression, the presence of stress hormones, and a number of other chemical and behavioral factors, in infants. If a pattern exists, the data could help identify risk factors for psychiatric illness, and lead to preventive therapies and treatments. Rebecca Knickmeyer Santelli, Ph.D. and John Gilmore, M.D. Need/Problem: The composition of the gut microbiome (the trillions of microbes inhabiting the intestinal tract) impacts neurodevelopment, cognition, and stress-related behaviors relevant to a wide range of psychiatric illnesses, but [...]

9 07, 2018

The Gut Microbiome and Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD) | Kimmel | $39,912

The Gut Microbiome and Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD): A Pilot Study to Examine the Microbiome in Relation to Perinatal Changes in Stress and Immune Systems Award: $39,912 The biological mechanisms underlying perinatal mood disorders (like postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis) are unclear. The gut-brain axis is one possible system that connects the immune system, stress system, and nervous system; the gut and brain are in constant communication, and a major component of the gut is the millions of bacteria and other organisms that live there. With this study, Dr. Kimmel proposed to analyze the gut microbiota of women during pregnancy and the postpartum time period to determine what, if any, connections existed between gut health and the likelihood of developing a perinatal mood disorder. Mary Kimmel, M.D. Need/Problem: PMAD are [...]

9 07, 2018

Single cell transcriptional profiling to identify novel neurocircuit targets for reproductive mood disorders | Stuber | $45,000

Single cell transcriptional profiling to identify novel neurocircuit targets for reproductive mood disorders Award: $45,000 It’s known that reproductive mood disorders—like postpartum depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and perimenopausal depression—are largely caused by fluctuations of natural hormones like estradiol and progesterone. What is less well understood is how, or why, particular types of neurons in the brain respond to these hormones. Researchers will perform a detailed study of individual neurons reacting to a variety of hormonal conditions, in the hopes that we can design more targeted therapies for reproductive mood disorders. Garret Stuber, Ph.D. Need/Problem: Rationale strategies for therapeutic targeting of neuronal cell types in the brain for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disease are largely absent. We propose to utilize state of the art high throughput sequencing technology establish an experimental and computational [...]

9 07, 2018

Defining, Mining, and Reversing Neurocircuit Adaptions in Addiction | Stuber | $100,000

Defining, Mining, and Reversing Neurocircuit Adaptions in Addiction Award: $100,000 Addiction alters the signaling and function of many neurons in the brain. Because drug or alcohol abuse alter our neurocircuitry—the pathways of our brains—reversing the effects of addiction means reversing the patterns our brains learn from substance abuse. With this study, Dr. Stuber proposes to gather data identifying the neurocircuitry of addiction by monitoring the activity of hundreds to thousands of neurons during the transition to addiction. Garret Stuber, Ph.D. Need/Problem:  Addiction and related disorders exact a tremendous toll of society, but strategies to define and assess the therapeutic efficacy are currently costly, slow, and difficult to develop. Grant Summary:  Addiction alters the signaling and function of many neurons in the brain, but strategies to normalize these maladaptive patterns of activity are [...]

9 07, 2018

Alcohol intoxication mediated through medial septal circuitry | Knapp | $39,210

Alcohol intoxication mediated through medial septal circuitry 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. Darin Knapp, Ph.D. 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. [...]

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 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. Crystal Schiller, Ph.D. 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 [...]

9 07, 2018

Testing oxytocin treatment of opioid withdrawal | Pedersen | $40,808

Testing oxytocin treatment of opioid withdrawal Award: $40,808 Opioid use disorders have emerged as a public health crisis over the past 20 years; opioid overdose is now the leading cause of death for United States adults 25-44 years old. Aside from the initial difficulties posed by opioid addiction—which is notoriously difficult to treat—opioid drug use also complicates mental illnesses like bipolar disorder, PTSD, and depression. Dr. Pedersen and his team have already shown that the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT), administered intranasally, can block withdrawal and diminish drinking in alcohol-addicted subjects. Now they hope to show that it can be effective in reducing opioid withdrawal symptoms. Dr. Cort Pedersen

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 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. Hiroyuki Kato, Ph.D. 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 [...]

9 07, 2018

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

Randomized controlled trial of pyridoxine for tardive dyskinesia 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. Fredrik Jarskog, M.D. 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 [...]

9 07, 2018

Achieving Synergy with Multimodal Brain Stimulation: Electricity Meets Magnetism | Frohlich | $156,613

Achieving Synergy with Multimodal Brain Stimulation: Electricity Meets Magnetism Award: $156,613 Dr. Frohlich’s current exploration of noninvasive brain stimulation began with a Foundation grant in 2012, and continued in 2015 with an additional $200,000 award. The third phase of this project attempts to integrate electrical and magnetic stimulation—two methods often used separately—to target specific trouble spots and improve overall brain function. Flavio Frohlich, Ph.D. Need/Problem: One effective treatment strategies for mental illnesses is to combine medications to achieve maximal therapeutic benefit. In contrast, despite the emergence of multiple, different forms of non-invasive brain stimulation for the treatment of mental illnesses, very little is known about the potential therapeutic synergy of different forms of non-invasive brain stimulation. Grant Summary:  This is the first study of its kind to investigate the targeted combination of [...]