Projects and Grants
The Mood and Personality Disorders Research Program conducts a multitude of research projects that cover a broad range of psychiatric disorders and their respective neurobiological underpinnings. Some of our general areas of interest, with examples of specific research projects, are outlined below:
- Brain Imaging
- Neuropsychological Testing
- Medication Trials
Rapid and powerful developments in brain imaging technology enable today's researchers in psychiatry to study brain structure and function with extraordinary accuracy and detail - even down to the level of metabolic and neurotransmitter activity of highly-specific brain regions. We use various imaging modalities, including Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to examine physiological brain activity in our participants.
In many of our studies, patients participate in an array of neuropsychological assessments that explore characteristics such as attention, memory, and motivation. Examples of such tests include:
- AX-CPT: assesses an individual's ability to use context to select a response
- N-Back: measures working memory or the ability to manipulate information necessary to complete a task
- Eriksen Response competition task: assesses the ability to selectively attend to information
- Other tests that we use include: Wechsler Abbreviated Scale for Intelligence, Spatial Maintenance and Manipulation Task, Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test, Reichenberg Dual Task, California Verbal Learning Task, and Dot test.
These tests allow us not only to measure cognitive function in people with personality disorders, but also to gauge the effects of different treatment modalities on intellectual functioning.
While there are many medications that are used to treat patients with personality disorders, to date none have been FDA-approved for this specific purpose. We are actively involved in studies of several medications targeting mood instability, impulsive aggression and cognitive disorganization in this population.
Results of recent research studies suggest that genetic features may greatly influence the development of personality traits and disorders. Our genetic studies explore to the contributions of family, genetic, and biochemical factors to personality.
The Genetics of Endophenotypes and Schizophrenia
An fMRI Study of Emotional Dysregulation in Borderline Patients
Pharmacology of Cognition in Schizotypal Personality
5-HTT and 5HT2a Receptors in Impulsive Aggression and Effects of Fluoxetine
Mood and Personality Disorders Research Program
Department of Psychiatry
One Gustave L. Levy Place
New York, NY 10029