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Department of Psychiatry

Study finds ‘frozen’ fear response may underlie PTSD

Nov. 27, 2019—To explore how fear becomes entrenched, VUMC researchers traveled down the precise neuronal pathways in the brains of mice that trigger fear responses, and which normally extinguish the behaviors once the danger has passed.

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Relational memory in early psychosis

Sep. 10, 2019—Studies of relational memory function may reveal novel mechanisms for therapeutic intervention for patients in the early stages of psychosis.

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Defective transporter linked to autism

Jul. 24, 2019—A first-of-its-kind mouse model may help reveal mechanistic underpinnings for the altered behaviors of autism spectrum disorder.

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Working memory in psychotic disorders

Jul. 11, 2019—Functional MRI studies have revealed that targeting activation of certain brain regions may improve working memory and cognition in psychotic disorders.

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Early detection of schizophrenia

Jun. 24, 2019—Inhibited temperament—a tendency to respond to novelty with wariness, fear or caution—may be a risk factor for schizophrenia that could be targeted for preventative interventions.

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Brain aging occurs at accelerated rate in patients with psychosis

Mar. 7, 2019—Normal brain aging patterns in patients with a psychotic disorder occur at an accelerated rate, impacting the patient’s cognitive functioning and suggesting treatment intervention in the early psychosis period may improve long-term outcomes.

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Reversing stress-related anxiety

Feb. 14, 2019—Inhibiting COX-2 — an enzyme associated with inflammation — could provide a novel therapeutic approach for stress-related psychiatric disorders.

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Nicotine patch shows promise in treating late-life depression

Sep. 6, 2018—A Vanderbilt University Medical Center pilot study of treating late-life depression in nonsmokers with transdermal nicotine (nicotine patch) has yielded some promising results, but the study’s author cautions that more study is needed.

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Shaping reward circuits

May. 18, 2018—Using techniques to control and monitor the activities of individual neurons, Vanderbilt investigators are probing the brain’s reward circuitry.

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Bladder pain syndrome no laughing matter for comedian

May. 17, 2018—Local comedian Ashley Corby, 35, overshares with her audience as part of her standup routine, including a 5-minute bit about “shady” rest areas she has visited due to interstitial cystitis (IC), a bladder pain syndrome affecting 3 million to 8 million people in the United States.

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Brain connections in schizophrenia

Mar. 9, 2018—Brain imaging studies have implicated the connection between two brain regions in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

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Gift supports addiction medicine training program

Feb. 8, 2018—The 2016 Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health, “Facing Addiction in America,” leaves little question about the growing problem of addiction.

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