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Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D. - Brain and behavior research expert on schizophrenia
October 22, 2013

The major challenge we face in psychiatry is understanding. Psychiatric disease represents the leading cause of disability worldwide, but major pharmaceutical companies are withdrawing from developing new treatments, and many are shutting down psychiatry programs, a situation with major medical, social and economic implications. Reasons cited include the lack of neural circuit-level understanding of symptom states, which impairs identification of new treatments and development of predictive animal models. Part of the solution to this challenge may include technologies such as optogenetics, which has primary value as a research tool well-suited to probing circuit-level causality in complex behaviors. Identifying which patterns of circuit activity are actually causally involved in eliciting normal or pathological behaviors may provide a new kind of target, around which investigators can screen and build therapies (whether pharmacological, surgical, or electromagnetic).

TAGS: Depression
Rachel G. Klein, Ph.D., Scientific Council Member, 1995 NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grantee, 2004 Ruane Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Research, Professsor of Psychiatry, New York University Child Study Center, Expert on Childhood mental illnesses including ADHD and anxiety
Q In your time on the Scientific Council, what is the most promising area of brain and behavior research you’ve seen?
A Two areas appear most promising. One is that great progress has been made... More >
Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D. - Brain and behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q Can individuals volunteer to be part of the BRAIN Initiative? I’d be interested in having my brain scanned and mapped.
A Though the programs that will be funded by the BRAIN initiative have not... More >