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So far Jennifer Gibson has created 29 blog entries.
27 05, 2022

Kimberly

Kimberly For as long as I can remember I felt broken, as if something was wrong with me, and that I was the only one in the world who felt that way. My name is Kimberly Bryant and I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Mood Disorder when I was only 9 years old. I had always felt as if my emotions controlled me. My psychiatrists and therapists growing up always told me my emotions were just too large for my body. I walked through life hating myself and my emotions and how they defined me. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I finally met a therapist who helped me realize that there was nothing wrong with me. My emotions didn’t control me and in fact they were only a small part [...]

11 05, 2022

Data Driven Brain Shape Analysis Framework and Explainable AI | Prieto | $66,691

Data Driven Brain Shape Analysis Framework and Explainable AI 2022 Award: $66,691 Specific shape aspects are associated with individual differences in cognitive function in children and adults as well as abnormality in many neuropsychiatric disorders. In this project, we will investigate brain shape and reveal specific characteristics for different neuropsychiatric disorders. Our approach is based on multi-view and neural network interpretability techniques. Need/Problem: The overarching goal of this proposal is to develop deep learning techniques for brain shape analysis. We need to investigate, identify, and implement better approaches that will help us make predictions about health outcomes as well as improve early diagnosis of mental health disorders. Grant Summary: Brain shape analysis has been researched extensively and we know that specific shape aspects of the White Matter (WM) are associated with individual differences in cognitive function in children and [...]

11 05, 2022

Written Exposure Therapy to Improve Recovery among Sexual Assault Survivors | McLean | $59,168

Written Exposure Therapy to Improve Recovery among Sexual Assault Survivors 2022 Award: $59,168 An estimated 683,000 US women are sexually assaulted each year, and as many as half of these women experience severe posttraumatic stress symptoms six months after assault. This project tests the feasibility and initial efficacy of a five-session mental health intervention designed to prevent severe posttraumatic stress symptoms among survivors identified as being at high risk for severe posttraumatic stress symptoms. Results from this study will inform the development of a large-scale intervention trial. Need/Problem: An estimated 683,000 women in the United States are sexually assaulted each year and 1 in 5 US women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime. As many as half of these women experience severe posttraumatic stress symptoms 6 months after assault. Currently, no interventions are provided to women sexual assault survivors to [...]

11 05, 2022

Anxiety and emotion in parent-child dyads: A multimodal study | Campbell | $92,932

Anxiety and emotion in parent-child dyads: A multimodal study 2022 Award: $92,932 Anxiety is on the rise, is associated with altered emotional processing, and can emerge in preschool, a time when children rely on parents or caregivers to process emotional and handle worry. Developing successful treatments for childhood anxiety will depend on understanding the mechanisms that underlie it and parent-child dyads. This project is an important first step to better understand and treat anxiety disorders, by measuring brain and behavioral aspects of anxiety and emotion in both parents and children. Need/Problem: Anxiety disorders (AD) can emerge in early childhood and predict later symptoms and psychopathology. Emotional processing is an important core aspect of ADs – an underlying fear, worry, or distress. In preschool children, some worry is typical as they develop brain networks to process emotional information. This development [...]

11 05, 2022

Hormone Flux and the Emergence of Irritability During Pregnancy: Investigating the Trajectory and Neurobiological Correlates of an Underrecognized Mood State | Swales | $40,000

Hormone Flux and the Emergence of Irritability During Pregnancy: Investigating the Trajectory and Neurobiological Correlates of an Underrecognized Mood State2022 Award: $40,000Irritability is common in perinatal depression, however we do not know when irritability emerges during pregnancy and the neurobiological pathways underlying symptom progression are poorly understood. In this study we will investigate how hormone changes across pregnancy relate to the onset of irritability in women at risk for perinatal depression. We will also evaluate how hormone changes relate to neural and behavioral responses to threat and frustration, key components of irritability. Investigating the emergence and neurobiological correlates of irritability in perinatal depression is a critical first step to shed led light on this often underrecognized mood state and identify potential targets for prevention and intervention efforts that support the wellbeing of women and children.Need/Problem: Irritability is common in reproductive [...]

9 05, 2022

A novel glutamatergic mechanism for the treatment of cocaine and opioid use disorders, and co-occurring anxiety | Faccidomo | $39,565

A novel glutamatergic mechanism for the treatment of cocaine and opioid use disorders, and co-occurring anxiety 2022 Award: $39,565 Substance Use has steadily risen over the past decade and COVID-19 has exacerbated these trends. More than 50% of people diagnosed with Substance Use Disorders, are also diagnosed with co-occurring psychiatric disorders. There is a need for targeted treatments to simultaneously address these co-occurring mental health conditions. This project will systematically investigate whether a novel brain protein called TARP γ-8 could be a novel target for therapeutic interventions for substance use and anxiety. Need/Problem: Despite tremendous need, effective pharmacotherapies for the treatment of Substance Use Disorders and co-occurring psychiatric conditions are lacking. Repeated drug use dysregulates key neurotransmitter systems in the brain and leads to enduring changes in strength and function of brain pathways that regulate reward and pleasure. It [...]

9 05, 2022

Network Neuroscience of a Novel Brief Intervention for Stress and Depression Symptoms in College Students | Zhang & Schwippel | $41,080

Network Neuroscience of a Novel Brief Intervention for Stress and Depression Symptoms in College Students 2022 Award: $41,080 College students constantly experience stress, which may lead to various mental health problems. Psychosocial interventions are effective treatments, while the neural mechanisms underlying their therapeutic benefits remain unclear. In this study, we will record the brain activities of the client and the therapist simultaneously during the intervention. We will examine how synchronized brain activities between the client and the therapist may help explain the therapeutic benefits of psychosocial interventions. Need/Problem: The vast majority of college students experience a high level of stress arising from academic pressure, monetary concerns, and newly gained responsibilities as young adults. Stress-related symptoms include anxiety, sleeping problems, difficulties concentrating, and a low mood. Those symptoms might persist and develop into mental disorders like depression, thus reducing the [...]

4 05, 2022

Biomarkers of Systemic Inflammation in Alcohol Use Disorder | Morrow | $98,500

Biomarkers of Systemic Inflammation in Alcohol Use Disorder2022 Award: $98,500Studies of post-mortem brains of people who suffered from Alcohol Use Disorders show abnormal activation of inflammatory immune signals that are proposed to underlie addiction to alcohol. We propose to determine if serum levels of inflammatory markers are biomarkers of excessive alcohol drinking. Such a biomarker could provide a useful diagnostic tool and indicate if patients might respond to novel treatments that inhibit the same inflammatory pathways. We will test this idea in men and women who meet criteria for AUD in hopes of discovering a biomarker of AUD drinking severity and to facilitate study of new ways to treat alcohol use disorders.Need/Problem: The burden of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) in our society is greater than any other addictive drug, but, there is no reliable diagnostic biomarker of heavy drinking or [...]

4 05, 2022

Circuit-level investigation of global hypoconnectivity in the sensory neocortex of a mouse model for autism | Kato | $40,092

Circuit-level investigation of global hypoconnectivity in the sensory neocortex of a mouse model for autism 2022 Award: $40,092 In addition to the well-known social communication difficulties, autistic patients frequently suffer from sensory processing problems, such as sensory overload. In this project, we will investigate neural circuit alterations that affect sensory responses, using a preclinical mouse model for autism. Findings in the simple mouse brain should provide a first step toward understanding circuit mechanisms underlying broad sensory symptoms in autistic patients. Need/Problem: Atypical behavioral responses to sensory inputs, such as sensory overload and hypersensitivity, are observed in around 90% of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) patients, and developing treatments for this is critically needed to reduce the burden on patients and their families. Grant Summary: To identify the circuit alterations causing sensory processing problems in ASD, we will focus on a preclinical [...]

8 11, 2021

Jordyn

Jordyn “I didn’t have the tools to cope. My parents tried to help me, but I couldn’t think of any way for them to."Jordyn struggled with anxiety her entire life, but everything came crashing down on her in high school. She became extremely stressed and overwhelmed, with fear of failure and self-imposed pressure to do better. For several months, during her worst peak, she cried every night, constantly focused on everything going wrong, and endlessly envisioned scenarios of what else could go wrong in the future. Then COVID-19 entered the picture, isolating Jordyn from the outside world.“It’s scary not knowing what’s going to happen next.”Jordyn’s family knows all too well what can happen if someone doesn’t get the help they need. In 2015, their world was rocked when Jordyn’s cousin passed away due to suicide. The [...]