Dr. Lorenz S. Neuwirth of the Psychology Department and SUNY Neuroscience Research Institute is part of the team that was recently awarded a $437,061 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to study the neurobiological mechanisms of Major Depression Disorders (MDD).
Emerging as one of the highest causes of mental health related disabilities across the world, MDD has shown to benefit from a wide-range of medical pharmalogical advances. Neuwirth will join Drs. Kelly G. Lambert of University of Richmond and Amelia J. Eisch of University of Pennsylvania on the three-year R-15 Area grant to study the an Effort-Based Reward (EBR) animal model of MDD.
The NIMH grant will provide a unique set of applied learning and research skill training opportunities for students working on the research with Drs. Neuwirth, Lambert and Eisch at each of the three collaborating universities. Additionally, select students will participate in a dynamic neuroscience summer training program at the University of Richmond during the length of the grant award period.
According to the grant award, despite the therapeutic progress made in treating MDD pharmacologically through Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and non-pharmacologically through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), people with MDD often experience treatment efficacy below desired levels and adverse drug related side effects. Since the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of MDD remain inadequately described, the unique challenge in addressing MDD has been to identify therapies that meet the desired treatment efficacy, while exhibiting reduced adverse side effects through neuropsychopharmacology treatments specifically designed to target the neurobiological mechanisms known to be associated with and/or cause MDD. The research conducted through the grant award aims at addressing these slow rates of advancement.