Ask an Expert

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 yet been... More >
Q. What type of blood pressure medication interferes with Antidepressant LImbitrol?
A. More >
Robert C. Malenka, M.D., Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on depression
Q. I thought the chemical imbalance theory of depression was a big step forward in treating depression as a bona fide illness. What are the implications of finding that it is out of date and how long until we have new, more effective treatments?
A. There is no doubt that depression is a bona fide illness. Theories are made to be... More >
Andrew A. Nierenberg, M.D. - brain & behavior research expert on depression
Q. Why do some people respond better than others to depression treatments?
A. Andrew A. Nierenberg, M.D., of Harvard Medical School received the Colvin Prize for... More >
Katherine L. Wisner, M.D.
Q. How is depression specific to or different in women?
A. “It’s the same rate of occurrence in boys and girls until puberty, when in puberty... More >
Eric J. Nestler, M.D., Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on depression
Q. What do you see on the horizon in the next few years as a breakthrough treatment for depression?
A. Several rapidly acting antidepressants are currently in clinical trial, such as... More >
Eric J. Nestler, M.D., Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on depression
Q. My father-in-law was treated with radiation for prostate cancer 2 years ago. Since then he seems depressed. He does not believe in therapy. What can we do? Do you think the depression could be caused by something related to his cancer treatment?
A. Depression is often seen in the context of many medical illnesses, including cancer... More >
Eric J. Nestler, M.D., Ph.D. - Brain & behavior expert on anxiety
Q. Based off your mouse studies, do you think that the majority of men who are prone to stress and anxiety are fated to have children with the same issues?
A. No. An individual’s risk for a syndrome as complex and variable as depression or... More >
Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D. - Brain and behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q. Can you envision ways in which the optogenetics technology that you invented might eventually improve the design or use of psychiatric medications?
A. The major challenge we face in psychiatry is understanding. Psychiatric disease... More >
Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D. - Brain and behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q. Have any of the labs that are using your invention CLARITY to more precisely observe the brain after death found things that were particularly surprising in your view?
A. Though CLARITY technology is so new that these kinds of studies have not yet been... More >
Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D. - Brain and behavior research expert on depression
Q. My sister lives with depression and seems to be having increasing issues with her memory as well. You say that stress and depression can “shrink” the brain. Can antidepressants and/or other treatments reverse that?
A. Chronic depression is associated with shrinkage of brain areas that are involved in... More >
Katherine L. Wisner, M.D.
Q. How important is it to treat depression during pregnancy?
A. “A woman who is depressed in pregnancy is certainly very likely to continue to be... More >
Robert C. Malenka, M.D., Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on depression
Q. Your work is fascinating. It is frightening to think about neurotransmitters in the brain being manipulated to reduce or eliminate depressed behaviors. How do you foresee these malfunctions in brain circuitry and synaptic connections being treated?
A. The hope of all neuroscience researchers is that by defining the malfunctions in... More >
Andrew A. Nierenberg, M.D. - brain & behavior research expert on bipolar disorder
Q. Are there alternative treatments that might help people with mood disorders?
A. Andrew A. Nierenberg, M.D., of Harvard Medical School received the Colvin Prize for... More >
Dr. Katherine L. Wisner, M.D., expert on post-partum depression
Q. What is the difference between ‘baby blues’ and Postpartum Depression?
A. “Distinction between a very brief, tearful, maybe anxious, uncomfortable 4 or 5 days... More >
John H. Krystal, M.D.
Q. What would 'recovery' of PTSD look like?
A. “To be resilient to things they were having trouble coping with … What treatment... More >
John H. Krystal, M.D.
Q. What are exciting new areas of research in PTSD?
A. “Understanding how the brain recovers from stress – the neurobiology of resilience... More >
John H. Krystal, M.D.
Q. Where will the breakthroughs come in treating PTSD?
A. “Uniting molecular genetics with brain imaging and psychopharmacology - these sorts... More >
Eric R. Kandel, M.D. - Brain and behavior research expert on PTSD
Q. There is a lot of talk about how to improve memory, but what about erasing traumatic memories from the brains of people that have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? Is this possible, and if so, do you recommend it?
A. I do not like the idea of erasing memories. I think we can provide someone with... More >
John H. Krystal, M.D.
Q. How long does PTSD last?
A. Length of time varies. According to our diagnostic manual, one must have symptoms... More >
John H. Krystal, M.D.
Q. September 11th is a traumatic date – what do you recommend to manage the stress?
A. It is true that we seem to be bombarded with news related to disasters and social... More >
Fred R. Volkmar, M.D.
Q. What would ‘recovery’ from Autism be like?
A. “They’re headed to a path of being independent and self sufficient as adults,... More >
Fred R. Volkmar, M.D.
Q. What are exciting new areas of research in Autism?
A. “We’re interested in developing new ways to study social development in Autism, new... More >
Jay N. Giedd, M.D. - brain & behavior research expert on autism
Q. My daughter was diagnosed with autism at age 22. Is this common?
A. Jay N. Giedd, M.D. of the National Institute of Mental Health received the Ruane... More >
Schahram Akbarian, M.D., Ph.D. Scientific Council Member 1993, 2000 NARSAD Young Investigator Grantee 1997 Klerman Prizewinner Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Chief of the Division of Psychiatric Epigenomics Mount Sinai School of Medicine, expert on autism
Q. With regard to your research finding of an epigenetic signature of autism, can you tell me what this means for early diagnosis and treatment?
A. Presently, our findings have no implications yet for early diagnosis and treatment.... More >

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