22q11.2 Deletion, Duplication Linked to Opposing Changes in White Matter

3D color medical concept of human brain white matter

Ofer Pasternak, PhD, and Johanna Seitz-Holland, MD, PhD, of the Department of Psychiatry at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and colleagues conducted the first study to compare white matter in 22q-del and 22q-dup, and report finding opposing abnormalities that might indicate distinct pathologies.


How Trauma-informed Care Improves the Patient Experience

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program Team

In the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic and a renewed emphasis on issues surrounding racial justice have brought the need for trauma-informed healthcare into greater focus. Consultation-liaison psychiatrist Nomi Levy-Carrick, MD, MPhil, has been involved in expanding such programs across more areas of the Brigham.


Brain Circuit Mapping Refines Targets for Neurostimulation

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed a novel brain mapping method that suggests lesions, TMS and DBS converge on a common brain circuit for depression—which may represent a better target for therapeutic neurostimulation. The approach seems to be generalizable to other neuropsychiatric diseases.


Neural Circuit for Spirituality and Religiosity Identified

Human Brain Scan X-Rays

By using a newer technique called lesion network mapping, Michael Ferguson, PhD, Michael D. Fox, MD, PhD, of the Center for Brain Circuit Therapeutics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and colleagues have identified a specific brain circuit that seems to be a neural substrate for spirituality and religiosity.


COVID-19–related Psychological Factors Can Interfere with Mother–Infant Bonding

Mother holds and looks down at newborn infant

In a nationwide online survey of pregnant and postpartum women, Cindy H. Liu, PhD, and Carmina Erdei, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and colleagues determined that psychological factors related to COVID-19, particularly grief, pose unique hazards to mother–infant bonding.


Targeting Common Causal Circuits With Brain Stimulation to Treat Depression

Can targeting certain brain circuits with therapeutic stimulation modulate neuropsychiatric symptoms? A recent study involving multiple Brigham and Women’s Hospital investigators including Michael D. Fox, MD, PhD, and Shan H. Siddiqi, MD, MBBS, answers that crucial question in the affirmative.


Studying Pandemic’s Effect on Mental Health in Young Adults

Young adults in masks at schoolThe COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for almost everyone, and different populations have been hit in different ways. For people aged 18–30 years, it has had an outsized effect on mental health, especially in terms of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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Improving Telehealth in Psychiatry for Non-English Speakers

woman on phone at home

Telemedicine has become an increasingly important mode of care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Certain specialties lend themselves to telemedicine to a greater degree than others. One of these is psychiatry, thanks in large part to relevance of observation and conversation with patients and their families to obtain neuropsychiatric history.

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Brigham Leads the Way in Brain Circuit Therapeutics

brain imaging
Dr. Siddiqi’s trial uses brain imaging to target specific circuits (white arrows). Siddiqi et al, Am J Psychiatry 2020

Brigham and Women’s Hospital recently opened its innovative Center for Brain Circuit Therapeutics. A joint clinical, research and education initiative, the new center brings together experts from neurology, psychiatry, neurosurgery and neuroradiology to develop innovative treatment methods for brain disorders that don’t respond to medication.

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Brigham Researchers Awarded Two Prestigious NIH Grants

stress out woman

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have received two grants totaling nearly $30 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grants will support two research programs — one designed to examine the effects of stress in post-menopausal women and the other to gather and analyze data that can be used to develop early-stage interventions for those at high risk for psychosis.

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