Ask an Expert

Myrna Weissman, Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on depression
Q. I’ve dealt with depression all my life and I’m worried that my young children may be affected. Is there a test they can take to find out whether they’re at risk?
A. I know of no tests that are better than a good clinical evaluation. While the odds... More >
Q. What type of blood pressure medication interferes with Antidepressant LImbitrol?
A. 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 >
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 >
Dr. Katherine L. Wisner, M.D., expert on post-partum depression
Q. Where will the breakthroughs come in the next 10 years in treating depressed women?
A. Dr. Wisner presented at the 2010 Palm Beach Mental Health Research Symposium. She... More >
Myrna Weissman, Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on depression
Q. There is a history of depression in my family. But how do I know whether my teenage daughter is just moody (like lot of girls her age) or whether she’s actually depressed?
A. Here we need to differentiate between population science and individual care. On a... More >
Huda Akil, Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on depression
Q. Your description of a “depressed brain” was very interesting. Has anyone ever looked at the brains of people after they’ve been treated for depression for several years—does treatment change the way the brain looks?
A. This is an excellent question and one that we have thought about and begun to... 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 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 >
Huda Akil, Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on depression & anxiety
Q. My daughter is a risk taker and very social, but my son seems shy and more tentative about trying new things. Based on your research, should I be more worried about him developing depression?
A. Thank you for the opportunity to clarify this point. The majority of children who... 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 >
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 >
Myrna Weissman, Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on depression
Q. How can I explain my depression to my third-grader? I don’t want to hurt his chances of having good mental health if he knows I’m struggling.
A. The evidence is quite strong that if you can keep yourself in remission, which may... More >
Katherine L. Wisner, M.D.
Q. What would recovery from depression look like?
A. “A woman who is back to her pre-Depression symptom level, with the ability to... More >
Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D. - brain & behavior research expert on depression
Q. What advice can you offer to people struggling with severe depression?
A. Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford University received the Goldman-Rakic... 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 >
Andrew A. Nierenberg, M.D. - brain & behavior research expert on depression
Q. What options do patients with treatment-resistant depression have?
A. Andrew A. Nierenberg, M.D., of Harvard Medical School received the Colvin Prize for... 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 >
Huda Akil, Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on depression
Q. In your work with the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Research Consortium, have you uncovered any new genes that you think might be related to mental illnesses besides major depression?
A. Yes, the Pritzker Consortium is interested in three severe psychiatric disorders—... More >
Huda Akil, Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on depression
Q. I was surprised to see that you mentioned “better eating” as something that can help people with depression re-engage their brain. What kinds of foods should a person with depression eat— or avoid?
A. Broadly speaking, it is important to recall that brain health, be it emotional or... More >
Myrna Weissman, Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on depression
Q. Why does the incidence of depression go up after puberty? Is it because of hormones?
A. There are good population-based data showing that the onset of depression increases... 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 >
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 >
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 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 >

Pages