Top 12 Advances in Psychiatric Research in 2018 from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Posted: January 30, 2019

Brain scientists are breaking new ground in researching depression, chronic stress, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and other mental health conditions impacting millions around the world. Here is a list of the Leading Research Achievements by Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Grantees in 2018. These insightful studies are presented in the order of their publication in scientific journals. Read more about these advancements at 2018 Research Achievements.

A Rapid Form of Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Next-Generation Therapies, New Technologies: Depression

•    Daniel M. Blumberger, M.D., Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto; 2010 BBRF Young Investigator; The Lancet, April 28, 2018 

Largest-Ever Cortical Imaging Study of OCD Patients Offers Clues to Causes

Basic Research: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

•    Odile A. van den Heuvel, M.D., Ph.D., VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands; 2009 BBRF Young Investigator; American Journal of Psychiatry, May 1, 2018

Pregnancy Complications Provide Opportunity for Schizophrenia Risk Genes to Harm the Fetus

Basic Research: Schizophrenia, Autism, Childhood disorders

•    Daniel R. Weinberger, M.D., Lieber Institute for Brain Development; BBRF Scientific Council; 2000, 1990 Distinguished Investigator; 1993 Lieber Prize; Nature Medicine, May 28, 2018

A Revealing Genetic Comparison of Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

Basic Research: Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder

•    Douglas M. Ruderfer, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University; 2015 BBRF Young Investigator; Cell, June 14, 2018

Machine-learning Helped Identify Newly Diagnosed Schizophrenia and Predicted Treatment Response

Diagnostic Tools/Early Intervention: Schizophrenia, Psychosis

•    Bo Cao, Ph.D., University of Alberta; 2016 Young Investigator; Molecular Psychiatry, June 19, 2018 

Interactive Parent-Child Therapy Reduced Depression Symptoms in Very Young Children

Next-Generation Therapies: Depression, Childhood disorders

•    Joan L. Luby, M.D., Washington University School of Medicine; BBRF Scientific Council; 2008, 2004 Independent Investigator; 2004 Klerman Prize; 1999 Young Investigator; American Journal of Psychiatry, June 20, 2018

Esketamine Reduced Suicidal Thoughts Within Hours of Treatment

Next-Generation Therapies: Suicide, Depression

•    Carla M. Canuso, M.D., Johnson & Johnson/Janssen R&D; 1998 Young Investigator; American Journal of Psychiatry, July 1, 2018

Adult-Born Neurons Can Protect Against Chronic Stress

Basic Research: Anxiety, Depression

•    René Hen, Ph.D., Columbia University; BBRF Scientific Council; 2009, 2003; Nature, July 5, 2018 

Rapid, Intensive Outpatient Treatment Reduced Vets’ PTSD Symptoms Within Weeks

Next-Generation Therapies: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

•    Alyson Kay Zalta, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine; 2016 Young Investigator; Psychiatry, July 27, 2018 

Researchers Train Computers to Identify a Biological Signature of Bipolar Disorder

Diagnostic Tools/Early Intervention: Bipolar Disorder

•    Tomas Hajek, M.D., Ph.D., Dalhousie University; 2015 Independent Investigator; 2007 Young Investigator; Molecular Psychiatry, August. 31, 2018 

Folic Acid-Fortified Foods During Pregnancy May Lower Child’s Psychosis Risk After Birth

Diagnostic Tools/Early Intervention: Psychosis, Schizophrenia, Autism, Developmental Disorders

•    Joshua L. Roffman, M.D., M.MSc., Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital; 2014 Independent Investigator; 2007 Young Investigator; JAMA Psychiatry, September 1, 2018

Computer-Delivered Cognitive Training Significantly Helped Schizophrenia Patients in Rehab Setting

Next-Generation Therapies: Schizophrenia

•    Gregory A. Light, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego; 2014 Baer Prize; 2013 Independent Investigator; 2006, 2003 Young Investigator; Schizophrenia Research, December 1, 2018