Research

Our research program investigates neurocognition in serious mental illness, such as mood disorders and psychotic disorders. We are focused on understanding the biological mechanisms and environmental factors that contribute to the development of cognitive deficits, as well as testing novel therapies that may improve such impairments.

Project 1: Identifying Immune Mechanisms Underlying Differential Neurocognitive Trajectories in Bipolar Disorder

This study, an extension of project 2 listed below, is a 36-month longitudinal study with an added focus on immune dysfunction as it is thought to contribute to cognitive and functional decline.

For more information on participating, please visit rally.partners.org/study/cog_bd.

Project 2: Neurocognitive Heterogeneity in Bipolar Disorder

This study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, aims to determine the clinical and biological predictors of cognitive impairment in 350 bipolar disorder patients, using a novel classification approach based on neurocognitive profiles.

Project 3: Brain-based Mechanisms of Emotion Regulation in Aging and Mood Disorders

Emotion regulation (ER) refers to the ability to flexibly and dynamically respond to affectively-valenced stimuli in the service of goal-directed behaviors. Difficulties with ER are core to mood disorders. We will assay habitual use of ER strategies, social functioning, and well-being in 200 adults to determine how brain-based processes affect functionally- and clinically relevant outcomes.

Project 4: A 6-Week Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multicenter Study to Evaluate the Efficacy of Lurasidone Adjunctive Therapy in Improving Cognitive Functioning in Euthymic Bipolar Disorder Patients

The primary objective of this 6-week, multi-site trial is to test the efficacy of lurasidone versus placebo on neurocognitive outcomes in affectively-stable patients with bipolar disorder.

For more information on participating, please visit rally.partners.org/study/elice_bd.

Project 5: International Consortium Investigating Cognition in Bipolar Disorder – ICONIC-BD

A Brigham Research Institute-funded project to create the first international consortium focused on neurocognitive impairment in bipolar disorder. Through collaboration and open data-sharing, we aim to establish the world’s largest neurocognitive database in patients with bipolar disorder.

Please see details of project published in Bipolar Disorders. If you are interested in contributing data, please contact Dr. Burdick, kburdick1@bwh.harvard.edu.

Project 6: Clinical and Biological Predictors of Cognitive Outcome in Postmenopausal Women with Major Depressive Disorder

This study, funded by the Women’s Brain Initiative at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is collecting data from 150 postmenopausal women with recurrent major depressive disorder to understand the cognitive heterogeneity and to identify clinical and biological predictors of both risk and resilience to cognitive decline.

For more information on participating, please visit rally.partners.org/study/mdd.

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