CSAN Mood Disorders Laboratory
Mood disorders continue to represent a considerable proportion of worldwide disease burden. Employing both natural-history and experimental-medicine approaches, we use a variety of neuroscientific methods—from conventional to cutting-edge—to advance the understanding of and intervention in mood disorders.
For the last fifty years, developments in bio-assay and in-vivo imaging technologies have provided us with a unique “look under the hood” in psychiatric disorders. Necessarily, most of this research has been exploratory because of the complexity of the biological systems investigated. Nonetheless, in the area of mood disorders, important regularities have emerged in the domains of genetics, endocrine and cytokine signaling, metabolomics, and neuroimaging. Currently, the primary motivator of research in the CSAN Mood Disorders Laboratory is that these regularities cohere in ways that promote development of theoretical models as well as approaches to subtyping and tailoring of treatment for mood disorders. Consequently, we apply to our investigations of mood disturbance a broad, multilevel array of methods including neuroimaging, whole-genome sequencing, and endocrine and cytokine assays of blood and cerebrospinal fluid. We apply these methods in natural-history studies to identify abnormal biological patterns in mood disorders, and also in experimental medicine studies aimed at development of a more causal psychiatric science.