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So far Daphne Thompson has created 17 blog entries.
19 09, 2019

Epigenetic Mechanisms of Post-traumatic Stress and Depression after Sexual Assault | Zannas | $75,000

Epigenetic Mechanisms of Post-traumatic Stress and Depression After Sexual Assault 2019 Award: $75,000 More than 40 million Americans each year present to US emergency departments (EDs) for evaluation after trauma exposure. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and posttraumatic major depression (PMD) are common, morbid outcomes among trauma-exposed survivors that greatly reduce mental and physical health. Posttraumatic interventions to prevent PTSD and PMD are very limited, because the molecular underpinnings of these outcomes remain poorly understood. Need/Problem: National surveys indicate that 1 in 5 adult US women are sexually assaulted during their lifetime. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and posttraumatic major depression (PMD) are common, morbid outcomes among adult women sexual assault (SA) survivors that greatly reduce mental and physical health. Posttraumatic interventions to prevent PTSD and PMD after SA are very limited, because the molecular underpinnings of these outcomes remain poorly [...]

12 09, 2019

Genetic Risk Factors of Post-traumatic Stress Disorders in Solid Organ Transplant Recipients | Nash | $39,886

Genetic Risk Factors of Post-traumatic Stress Disorders in Solid Organ Transplant Recipients 2019 Award: $39,886 Medical post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be triggered by any number of surgical or medical interventions or critical illness. For example, patients awaiting a solid organ transplant face the ever-present threat of death if a matching organ does not become available; following transplantation, they live with the ongoing risk of organ rejection. Currently, we are unable to accurately predict who will suffer from PTSD or other neuropsychiatric symptoms following transplantation. However, certain genetic variants have been associated with PTSD in the general population, and could serve as susceptibility factors for the transplant population. In this project, we are testing whether these variants can help us understand if, how, and why certain patients will develop PTSD and other neuropsychiatric symptoms following solid organ transplantation. Need/Problem: [...]

11 09, 2019

Evaluating Oxytocin in Opioid Withdrawal: A Translational Study | McElligott | $50,000

Evaluating oxytocin in opioid withdrawal: a translational study 2019 Award: $50,000 As the opioid epidemic continues to spread in the United States, it’s important to discover new and more effective treatments. Using a preclinical model of opioid use disorder (OUD) in mice, we will investigate the ability of the hormone oxytocin to alleviate the physical opioid withdrawal symptoms, sleep dysregulation, and protracted affective behaviors. Need/Problem: We are currently experiencing a global opioid epidemic; however, the prevalence of opioid use disorder (OUD) is especially visible in the US, where drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death. Individuals who are dependent on opioids continue to take these drugs despite the negative consequences to their lives and the risk of death. A major factor driving this persistent drug taking is because opioid withdrawal is both a physically and mentally traumatic [...]

5 09, 2019

Depression in the Pubertal Transition: Circadian Rhythms and Sleep Impairment as Mechanisms of Risk | Andersen | $37,920

Depression in the pubertal transition: Circadian rhythms and sleep impairment as mechanisms of risk 2020 Award: $37,920 Puberty is characterized by dramatic reproductive hormone instability, sleep and circadian rhythm disturbances, and an increased risk for depression, especially for girls. This study will examine the role of estrogen fluctuation in regulating sleep and circadian rhythms to understand risk for female-dominated adolescent depression. The pubertal transition is a critical developmental window offering a unique opportunity for identifying novel treatment targets and intervention efforts to diverge mental illness trajectories. Need/Problem: Adolescent girls have a three-fold greater risk for depression and a two-fold greater risk for sleep disorders compared with boys. The pubertal transition marks an abrupt divergence between the sexes in risk for depression and sleep disorders, implicating ovarian hormones (e.g., estrogen) as a common pathway of risk. With the prevalence of [...]

3 09, 2019

A Mechanistic Examination of Continuous-Cycle Oral Contraceptive Administration in Bulimia Nervosa | Baker | $46,942

A Mechanistic Examination of Continuous-Cycle Oral Contraceptive Administration in Bulimia Nervosa 2019 Award: $46,942 Binge eating fluctuates in a predictable pattern over the course of the menstrual cycle, but how reproductive hormones influence these changes remains unknown. Reproductive hormones could influence binge eating through their impact on response to reward. In this project, we will stabilize reproductive hormone fluctuation in women with binge eating using oral contraceptives in order to address how this stabilization influences binge eating and reward responsivity. Understanding how reproductive hormones act on binge eating could lead to new and more effective treatments. Need/Problem: There is a major disconnect between the negative consequences of eating disorders associated with binge eating and the availability of effective treatments. Female reproductive hormones such as estrogen and progesterone may play a role in the risk for binge eating, but it [...]

29 08, 2019

Dissecting the Neural Circuits of Hyperarousal States in Psychiatry | Rodriguez-Romaguera | $200,000

Dissecting the Neural Circuits of Hyperarousal States in Psychiatry 2019 Award: $200,000 Anxiety is a complex state consisting of cognitive, emotional, and physiological components driven by a network across multiple brain regions. In this project, we plan on studying the neural circuits that regulate the hyperarousal state that often precedes the cognitive and emotional changes. Establishing the precise neural circuits involved in hyperarousal is critical to design novel therapeutic interventions for anxiety disorders. Need/Problem: Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States, but we still poorly understand how specific neural circuits in the brain are affected during these disorders. Anxiety disorders are often characterized by an amplified arousal response to anxiogenic stimuli (hyperarousal). Grant Summary: Using pre-clinical mouse models we will use state-of-the-art microscopy techniques to visualize and record the activity of hundreds of individual [...]

27 08, 2019

Quantifying the Brain Developmental Trajectory of Autism-Associated Brain Overgrowth Using 3D Cellular Resolution Imaging | Wu | $39,069

Quantifying the Brain Developmental Trajectory of Autism-Associated Brain Overgrowth Using 3D Cellular Resolution Imaging 2019 Award: $39,069 Need/Problem: Alterations in brain development are associated with a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Many studies demonstrate that mouse models re-capitulate a core human phenotype, brain overgrowth, associated with an increase in the neural progenitor pool and that this brain overgrowth shows a regionally specific pattern. However, we do not know the cell-types that are driving the effect. And due to the limited temporal resolution of previous immunohistochemistry, we do not know the full developmental trajectory of cell-types leading to brain overgrowth. Grant Summary: We aim to develop high throughput computational tools for 3D light-sheet microscopy images to quantify the brain developmental trajectory of autism-associated brain overgrowth. The computational tools developed in this project will be used to study [...]