Keynote Presentation: Multi-Modal Imaging: Neural Circuits and Mood Disorders: New Neural Targets for Novel Interventions.

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Presenting Author(s): Dr. Mary L. Phillips, M.D., M.D. (Cantab)

Date and time: 23 Mar 2018 from 10:30 to 11:30

Location: Wildrose Salon C  Floor Map

Learning Objectives:

  1. To understand the nature of reward and emotional regulation related processing abnormalities in bipolar disorders.
  2. To understand the neural mechanisms underlying reward and emotional regulation related processing abnormalities in bipolar disorders, and neural markers of risk for these disorders
  3. To identify neural targets for novel treatments for bipolar disorders


Literature Reference:

  1. Phillips ML, Ladouceur CD, Drevets WC. A neural model of voluntary and automatic emotions regulation: Implications for understanding the pathophysiology and neurodevelopment of bipolar disorder. Mol Psychiatry. 2008;13(9):829, 833-57. [PMCID 2745893]. 
  1. Phillips ML, Swartz HA. A critical appraisal of neuroimaging studies of bipolar disorder: toward a new conceptualization of underlying neural circuitry and roadmap for future research. Am J Psychiatry 2014;171:829-843. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.13081008 
  1. Bertocci MA, Bebko G, Dwojak A, Iyengar S, Ladouceur CD, Fournier JC, Versace A, Perlman SB, Almeida JRC, Travis M, Gill MK, Bonar L, Schirda C., Diwadkar, V., Sunshine, J.L., Holland, S.K., Kowatch, R.A., Birmaher, B., Axelson, D., Horwitz, S.M., Frazier, T.W., Arnold, L.E., Fristad, M.A., Youngstrom, E.A., Findling, R.L., and Phillips, ML. Longitudinal relationships among activity in attention redirection neural circuitry and symptom severity in youth.  Biological Psychiatry:    12 July 2016 [Epub ahead of print].  doi:  10.1016/j.bpsc2016.06.009 
  1. Bertocci MA, Bebko G, Versace A, Fournier J, Iyengar S, Olino T, Bonar L, Almeida JR, Perlman SB, Schirda C, Travis M, Gill MK, Diwadkar VA, Forbes E, Sunshine JL, Holland SK, Kowatch RA, Birmaher B, Axelson D, Horwitz SM, Frazier TW, Arnold LE, Fristad MA, Youngstrom EA, Findling RL, Phillips ML. Predicting clinical outcome from reward circuitry function and white matter structure in youth. Molecular Psychiatry. 2016 Feb 23. doi:  1038/mp.2016.5. 
  1. Chase HW, Fournier JC, Bertocci M, Greenberg T, Aslam H, Stiffler R, Lockovich J, Graur S, Bebko G, Forbes EE, Phillips ML. A pathway linking reward circuitry, impulsive sensation seeking and risky decision making in young adults:  Identifying neural markers for new interventions.  Translational Psychiatry.  2017 April; 7:e1096. 



The overarching goal of my research is to increase understanding of the neural circuitry underlying mood disorders to: 1) identify neural biomarkers to aid diagnosis; 2) identify objective markers of risk for future development of these disorders in youth and young adults; and 3) identify neural targets that may play an important role in the discovery of new and more effective treatments for mood and anxiety disorders. My presentation will focus on the use of multimodal neuroimaging techniques to elucidate functional and structural abnormalities in reward processing and emotional regulation circuitries that are associated with dimensions of reward-related psychopathology in youth and adults. I will focus in particular on recent studies in my laboratory that have used these techniques to elucidate the neural bases of impulsivity and sensation seeking in youth and young adult. I will also present data from our studies in at-risk youth that have identified neurodevelopmental abnormalities in reward and emotional regulation circuitries that are associated with worsening affective pathology and aberrant, impulsive sensation seeking-related behaviors in these youth. Finally, I will present findings from ongoing studies in my laboratory that seek to determine the extent to which novel neuromodulation interventions, including transcranial direct current stimulation, targeted on specific neural biomarkers of impulsive sensation seeking in young-mid-life adults can ameliorate abnormalities in reward and emotional regulation neural circuitries and, in turn, reduce propensity for risky decision making and behaviors and future affective pathology.

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