Welcome from the Director
Martin Paulus, M.D.
President and Scientific Director
"Since arriving at LIBR in 2014, I have been enormously energized by the opportunity to make a real difference using neuroscience to improve the life of patients with mental illness. At the same time, I recognize this is a very challenging task, which cannot be accomplished overnight. However, with a thoughtful eye on what is doable, we are hoping to make a measureable impact on ways to assess and treat patients within five years.
We have started a major study in 2015, the Tulsa 1000, or T-1000. The goal for this study is to determine whether neuroscience-based measures can be used to predict outcomes in patients with mental illness. In particular, we are trying to determine what factors best predict who will respond well to a particular treatment. The study is a definitive step towards developing a science-based personalized medicine approach in mental health. Unfortunately, mental health treatment providers are still using guesswork and intuition in matching treatments to patients. As a consequence mental health treatment is fundamentally a trial and error endeavor, which can result in prolonged suffering if treatments do not work. The hope is that we will be able to use scientific approaches to more precisely match patients to treatments."
Meet the Investigators
Kyle Simmons, Ph.D.
Why is it that some individuals lose their appetite when they get depressed, and others eat more? Can these changes in eating behavior be used as an early indicator of depression onset, improvement, or recurrence?
We use sophisticated behavioral, endocrine, and functional brain imaging techniques and analyses to determine what brain mechanisms underlie changes in eating behavior in depression, and whether these changes are leading or lagging indicators of illness onset and recovery.
Activity signatures in brain regions important for the crosstalk between the brain and body distinguish between depressed individuals who eat too much and those who eat too little.
To develop approaches that can be used to predict the course of depression based on changes in the body-brain connection in general, and regulation of eating in particular.
Dr. Simmons is currently Assistant Professor at LIBR and the School of Community Medicine at the University of Tulsa, OK.
What's New & Noteworthy
TIME Magazine Flotation Feature
Congratulations to Dr. Justin Feinstein for being featured in the TIME Magazine article "Can Float Therapy Really Treat Stress?" where he shares how float tanks are engineered to enable relaxation and how he plans to investigate the benefits of floating for people with psychiatric disorders. The article will appear in the July 27th print issue of TIME.
Amygdala Activity During Autobiographical Memory Recall
The American Journal of Psychiatry has accepted a paper by Dr. Kym Young and colleagues titled "Amygdala activity during autobiographical memory recall in depressed and vulnerable individuals: Association with symptom severity and autobiographical overgenerality". Congratulations to Drs. Young and Bodurka of LIBR on this impressive accomplishment!
Risk-Prediction Model for Clinical Psychiatry
Dr. Martin Paulus has published a viewpoint article in JAMA Psychiatry that highlights the difficulties of making neuroscience useful for clinical psychiatry and advocates for a risk-prediction model in the development of impactful biological psychiatry. Download the article here:
On Friday, July 24th at 12 Noon, Dr. Emeran Mayer will present a talk on "Gut Microbiome Brain Interactions in Humans" in Conference Room A at LIBR. Dr. Mayer is a Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Physiology and Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Executive Director of the Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress, and Co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center at UCLA. He is a world renowned gastroenterologist and neuroscientist with 30 years of experience in the study of clinical and neurobiological aspects of how the digestive system and the nervous system interact in health and disease.
Tulsa 1000 Update
At the beginning of the year, LIBR launched the groundbreaking new Tulsa 1000 (T-1000) study. Over 60 participants have completed the first series of study visits. New participants are continuing to enroll each week.
The T-1000 aims to determine how biological and objective behavioral measures can improve assessment and treatment of people with disorders of mood and anxiety, eating and substance use. 1000 people from Tulsa and the surrounding areas will be recruited to enter the study.
To learn more about participating in research at LIBR, please visit our Ongoing Studies section, call 918-502-5100, or email email@example.com.