Good News!

We received a future brain fusion grant for 3 years under the title “BIG-BRAIN: Behavior/neuroimaging/Genomics- Big data based robust and explainable AI neural nets”. This research was supported by the Brain Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning. As a co-researcher, we plan to do research with Professor Woo-Young Ahn of Seoul National University.

Through this study, we plan to develop a robust and explainable artificial intelligence neural net that predicts individual differences, identifies pathophysiology, diagnose and interpret mental disorders with the integration of behaviors, neuroimages, and genome big data.

Good News!

We received an independent investigator grant for 5 years under the title “Development of early diagnosis technology for treatment-resistance schizophrenia based on glutamate-dopamine neural circuit using neuromelanin-sensitive MRI and MRS”. This research was supported by the Brain Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning.

Through this study, we plan to develop a crucial technology that reclassifies schizophrenia based on neuroimaging including MRS and Neuromelanin-sensitive-MRI according to dopamine-glutamate pathophysiology and early diagnosis of refractory schizophrenia without treatment response to antipsychotics.

A winter neuroimaging workshop.

We are conducting a neuroimaging workshop with second-year students from Pusan National University School of Medicine. Students learn basic principles of academic writing and systematic-review, Linux operation, and practice a neuroimaging analysis using Freesurfer. Participants parcelled the brains of patients with schizophrenia, compare the thickness of the cerebral cortex to the normal control group, and examine how the defective brain region is related to the actual clinical symptoms. We will also run an elective course that we can actually hypothesize using the given data and complete the paper.

 

A new clinical trial will begin.

Moschetti et al. Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet 2018

Our clinic has participated in the international clinical trial named “A phase III randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel group trial to examine the efficacy and safety of BI 425809 once daily over 26 week treatment period in patients with schizophrenia (CONNEX-3)”

The new drug, developed by Boehringer-Ingelheim, is a glutamate-based medication that is expected to revolutionize the limitations of existing treatments for schizophrenia. This compound is a glycine transporter inhibitor that is being developed for the treatment of schizophrenia but was discontinued for Alzheimer’s disease. Glycine transporters GlyT-1 and GlyT-2 located in presynaptic and astrocyte membranes take up glycine into the nerve terminal and adjacent glial cells, thus modulating glycine levels in the synaptic cleft. By blocking these receptors, BI 425809 is proposed to increase glycine levels and its ability to modulate NMDA receptor function.

The drug is aimed to improve the cognition and daily functioning of patients. Patient recruitment is scheduled for April.

Good News!

Our new review paper named “The Role of Estrogen Receptors and Their Signaling across Psychiatric Disorders” has been accepted to the International Journal of Molecular Sciences (IF=4.556).

In this review, we analyzed the emerging literature on estrogen receptors and psychiatric disorders in cellular, preclinical, and clinical studies. Specifically, we discuss the contribution of estrogen receptor and estrogen signaling to cognition and neuroprotection via mediating multiple neural systems, such as dopaminergic, serotonergic, and glutamatergic systems. Then, we assess their disruptions and their potential implications for pathophysiologies in psychiatric disorders. Further, in this review, current treatment strategies involving estrogen and estrogen signaling are evaluated to suggest a future direction in identifying novel treatment strategies in psychiatric disorders.