Ask an Expert

Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D. - Brain and behavior research expert on mental illness
Q. If some people are inherently more able to bounce back from stress, can those traits be acquired by others, or is this just an ability people possess at birth?
A. Resilience is an active process that helps one achieve positive outcomes in the face... More >
Dennis Charney, M.D., Expert on brain resilience
Q. Are there coping factors to help deal effectively with stress?
A. In their 20 years of treating and studying trauma survivors, Drs. Dennis Charney and... More >
Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D. - Brain and behavior research expert on mental illness
Q. Can one be measured for brain plasticity and/or brain “damage” resulting from stress?
A. Not really, except in cases of stroke or head trauma. Neuropsychological tests of... More >
Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D. - Brain and behavior research expert on mental illness
Q. Aside from physical exercise and socializing, which you mentioned in your article, are there other things a person can do to increase his or her brain plasticity? Do “brain games” have any effect?
A. Besides regular physical activity and a supportive social network, it’s also... More >
Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D. - Brain and behavior research expert on mental illness
Q. What are you most hopeful about in your research?
A. The potential of harnessing brain plasticity and the power of behavior in changing... 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 mental illness
Q. Is there a time frame for being able to reverse or to stop the insults that occur to DNA?
A. We do not know. To ‘rewrite’ the epigenetic code, or repair insults that occurred to... More >
Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D. - brain & behavior research expert on mental illness
Q. How will new technologies help patients with mental illness?
A. Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford University received the Goldman-Rakic... More >
Marc G. Caron, Ph.D. - brain & behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q. Is there any evidence linking stress to schizophrenia?
A. Marc G. Caron, Ph.D., of the Duke University Medical Center received the Lieber... More >
Jay N. Giedd, M.D. - brain & behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q. How common is relapse after stabilization in schizophrenia?
A. Jay N. Giedd, M.D. of the National Institute of Mental Health received the Ruane... More >
Marc G. Caron, Ph.D. - brain & behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q. How likely is it for schizophrenia to be passed along to later generations?
A. Marc G. Caron, Ph.D., of the Duke University Medical Center received the Lieber... More >
Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D., Columbia University Medical Center
Q. Where will the breakthroughs come in treating schizophrenia?
A. “The single biggest thing that would aid research in mental illnesses and the... More >
Patrick F. Sullivan, M.D., FRANZCP - Brain & behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q. My husband’s sister has schizophrenia and I’m afraid that if we have children they could be affected too. How high is the risk of this happening?
A. In general, large and carefully conducted studies tell us that the absolute risk is... More >
Kafui Dzirasa, M.D., Ph.D. - brain & behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q. What is the next big breakthrough in schizophrenia research?
A. Kafui Dzirasa, M.D., Ph.D., of Duke University Medical Center received the Sidney R... More >
Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D. - Brain and behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q. Is it possible to intervene early to curb severe mental illness later in life?
A. Indeed, we are now beginning to understand that people with neuropsychiatric... More >
Judith L. Rapoport, M.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q. Are there clear, identifying characteristics of the “abnormal timing of developmental events” that can lead to schizophrenia, psychosis, ADHD, etc.? How can parents know if their child has experienced this abnormal development?
A. This is a top research question. Probably there are very early abnormalities even... More >
Patrick F. Sullivan, M.D., FRANZCP - Brain & behavior research expert on suicide
Q. I think it’s wonderful that you got a consortium of scientists to work together to find answers on schizophrenia. What progress do you expect in the next five years?
A. In July 2014, the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium published a landmark paper that... More >
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 in... 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 >
Kafui Dzirasa, M.D., Ph.D. - brain & behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q. What types of diagnostic tests are available for schizophrenia?
A. Kafui Dzirasa, M.D., Ph.D., of Duke University Medical Center received the Sidney R... More >
Daniel Wolf, MD. PhD. - Assoc. Prof. Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine
Q. What are negative symptoms of schizophrenia?
A. "I use functional neuroimaging primarily as a method to study this...allows us to... 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 schizophrenia
Q. There are endless genetic studies for mental illness and yet the treatments don’t seem to be getting better. Why is there still such an emphasis on understanding the genetics?
A. This is an excellent question. Once a disease-associated gene has been found,... 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 mental illness
Q. If epigenetics is related to environmental influences triggering a susceptibility to mental illness—do you know particular ones leading to schizophrenia?
A. A number of environmental influences acting on the developing brain are suspected to... More >
Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D., Columbia University Medical Center
Q. What is the benefit of early intervention in treating schizophrenia - and how is it possible?
A. “The ability to treat people who develop schizophrenia successfully, produce... More >
Eric J. Nestler, M.D., Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q. Is there a viral or infection component to schizophrenia that could be treated with an antiviral or an antibiotic, especially at first episode?
A. This remains an area of active research. There is currently no definitive evidence... More >
Judith L. Rapoport, M.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Q. What are the most promising areas of research today—and how close are we getting to prevention and cures?
A. Certainly, brain imaging and genetics have the greatest attention in clinical... More >

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