Psychiatry Gets More Scientific

Hello. This is Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman of Columbia University, speaking to you for Medscape. Today I am going to talk about a study that recently appeared in Neuron [1] and was published by a research group at Columbia, of which I am a member.

The article is titled, “Imaging Patients With Psychosis and a Mouse Model Establishes a Spreading Pattern of Hippocampal Dysfunction and Implicates Glutamate as a Driver.” The first author is my colleague and former student, Scott Schobel, a talented young psychiatric researcher, and the senior author is Dr. Scott Small, a colleague of mine in the Department of Neurology, with whom we collaborate closely.

The reason I wanted to talk about this paper today is that it illustrates 2 things that are fundamentally important to where psychiatry is going. First, the study illustrates the potential power of early identification and intervention in mental disorders and, in this case, in the area of psychotic disorders and schizophrenia in particular. Second, the research reported in this paper illustrates what is called translational research — the ability to take a clinical problem and to study it preclinically in animals using basic science techniques or to take studies that come from basic science in the laboratory and move them into human studies.

by Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D., Medscape

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