Current Grantees

The neurobiological mechanisms of complicated grief

by Mary-Frances O'Connor, Ph.D.

Researchers will use fMRI imaging and other measures in 40 adults whose spouses have recently passed away to determine whether an oxytocin nose spray reverses signs of complicated (intense) grief and therefore might lead to an effective treatment...
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Prediction of Antidepressant Treatment Response Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

by Christine DeLorenzo, Ph.D.

Clinicians soon may be able to use a type of MRI imaging, called diffusion spectrum imaging, to predict whether an individual patient with depression is likely to respond to treatment with the class of antidepressants called SSRIs (selective sero...
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Neuroimaging Markers of Spreading Frontotemporal Degeneration Pathology

by Corey McMillan, Ph.D.

Investigators will use MRI imaging techniques to determine which of two proposed pathways young-onset degenerative diseases use to spread in the brain, and to identify key brain changes (biomarkers) that can be used to see if experimental therapie...
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The ‘missing-link’: Establishing the First Mammalian Model System for Investigating Vocal Learning and its Clinical Pathology

by Michael Yartsev, Ph.D.

Vocal learning, or the ability to hear a sound or word, imitate it, and develop language is often thought of as a required or necessary human ability, so much so that the lack of appropriate language acquisition is a hallmark of many neurological ...
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Brain PET Imaging of Synaptic Density in Alzheimer’s Dementia

by Ming-Kai Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

Can a new PET imaging tracer outperform the currently used one in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and in monitoring its progression?Diagnosing probable AD currently relies on three major measures. One is whether there is a decrease in glucose ...
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The role of iron in Alzheimer's disease

by Michael Zeineh, Ph.D., M.D.

Might inflammation arising from iron that is converted into an active state in the brain be the third leg of the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) stool, joining the abnormal proteins “amyloid” and “tau” as the hallmarks of AD? Stanford investigators will...
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Imaging may identify treatment targets in early, pre-symptomatic, stage of Huntington’s disease

by Jun Hua, Ph.D.

MRI imaging may be able to pick up early functional, vascular and metabolic brain changes in people with the Huntington’s disease gene, potentially providing targets for treating this devastating disease in its earliest stage. Finding the Huntingt...
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Using Pharmacological fMRI to Develop Novel Therapies for Treating Depression

by Jennifer Felger, M.S., Ph.D.

Some patients being treated for depression continue to lack motivation to engage in potentially rewarding behaviors, like social interactions, and this problem may be related to inflammation that impedes communication among reward-related brain a...
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Neuromelanin-sensitive MRI: development and validation of a novel dopamine biomarker for risk of schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease

by Guillermo Horga, M.D., Ph.D.

 A new molecular MRI imaging technique, called Neuromelanin-sensitive MRI (NM-MRI), may be able to identify early signs of illness in people who are at a high risk of developing Parkinson’s disease (PD) or schizophrenia. PD and schizophrenia each ...
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First-in-Human Trial of 4-18F-(2S,4R)-Fluoroglutamine Positron Emission Tomography

by Mark Dunphy, D.O.

A new non-invasive PET imaging tracer is showing promise for improving the ability to differentiate indolent brain tumors from those that are aggressively growing, and for assessing the aggressive tumor’s response to therapy, faster and more relia...
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Illuminating a gut-brain neural path for sensory signaling and pathogens

by Diego Bohórquez

The Investigators will use two optical imaging technologies in mice to explore whether a neural circuit that connects the gut to the brain may be the source of eating and anxiety-like disorders. The vagus nerve, the longest nerve in the human bod...
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Cortical Network Reorganization in Lower-Limb Amputees

by Jeffrey M. Yau

Investigators will use a novel combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to study how the functional connections between brain regions change in amputees who have lost a lower leg. Thes...
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In Vivo Imaging of Synaptic Density in Schizophrenia

by Patrick D. Skosnik, Ph.D., and Rajiv Radhakrishnan, M.D.

Investigators will use a newly developed positron emission tomography (PET) tracer in individuals with schizophrenia to examine whether this disorder, and its symptoms and degrees of severity, are directly associated with decreases in brain synaps...
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Hyperpolarized Pyruvate MRI to Characterize Glioma Metabolism Non-invasively in Man

by Kayvan Keshari, Ph.D.

A new type of MRI imaging that reflects the metabolism of brain tumor cells versus that of healthy brain cells may serve as an early biomarker of whether a tumor treatment is working. Aggressive brain tumors, called gliomas, can be potentially de...
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How might brain “astrocytes” alter nerve cell connections and contribute to Autism Spectrum Disorder?

by Nicola J. Allen, Ph.D.

This cellular imaging study in animal models will explore whether two genetically determined forms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have similar deleterious alterations in star-shaped cells, called “astrocytes,” that adversely affect brain develo...
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Fluorescence imaging may identify new molecules that increase the efficacy of pain medications

by Manoj Puthenveedu, M.D., Ph.D.

Investigators will use fluorescence imaging in a mouse model of chronic pain to identify small molecules that might potentially manage the pain without the addicting properties and other side effects of currently used medications.All currently use...
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Deep Brain Stimulation treatment effectiveness may be enhanced by using imaging to guide electrode placement

by Jennifer McNab, Ph.D.

This laboratory study in human tissues will determine whether a new imaging technique called “CLARITY” can enhance image-guided neurosurgery such that surgeons can optimally place deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrodes to treat depression, obses...
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MRI findings may identify a biomarker in people with schizophrenia who will develop psychosis

by Jared X. Van Snellenberg, Ph.D.

Investigators will use a type of fMRI imaging to see whether disconnections in a specific brain network are a biomarker for identifying clinically high risk schizophrenia patients who will develop a first episode of psychosis. Alternatively, thes...
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New MRI agent may reveal how brain injury produces inflammation and how to prevent it

by Mikhail Shapiro, Ph.D.

Investigators will explore in a laboratory mouse model of brain injury how the damaging process of inflammation occurs following injury. Their exploration utilizes a new MRI agent that they developed and validated through their $100,000 2014 Phase...
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