Grant: $239,078 - National Institutes of Health - Jun. 8, 2009
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Award Description: This R21 proposal entitled 'Language and Risk for Schizophrenia' is for funding to determine whether structural and functional changes in the brain white matter pathways that connect frontal and temporal cortices are significantly different in people who are at genetic high risk for developing schizophrenia compared with low risk controls and to determine whether these measures can eventually distinguish those who go on to have symptoms from those who do not. We thus hypothesize that the neurodevelopmental basis for schizophrenia is disturbance in the white matter pathways involved in processing language and related functions, and that these changes will be detectable by MRI in significantly more well individuals that are a genetic risk for developing the illness than in those who are not. In order to test this hypothesis, we aim to evaluate a large cohort of individuals who have an increased familial risk for developing schizophrenia and compare them to an age, sex, and social class proportionally matched group of controls. The integrity of white matter in regions that connect the temporal and frontal lobes (uncinate, arcuate, inferior longitudinal, inferior occipito-frontal fascicule) will be determined using a Diffusion Tensor Imaging Protocol (DTI). Evidence of anomalous activation within the above brain regions and pathways will be solicited directly by fMRI using a lexical decision task previously shown to differentiate people with schizophrenia and people at high-risk for schizophrenia from controls. The correlation of structural change with functional change will provide an understanding of the significance of any structural abnormalities. Since considerably more individuals in a genetically at risk cohort are likely to develop schizophrenia sometime in the future, the deficits determined to be present in this current study may be later found to be biological markers for whom among high-risk individuals are likely to develop schizophrenia and thus be valuable for decisions about early intervention.
Project Description: As descibed in Award Description, above
Jobs Summary: Prime: Harvard Medical School. Created: (2 FTE total). Part of a new faculty position - 1 FTE: This individual will be responsible for coordinating the clinical aspects of the project, identifying and recruiting subjects, interviewing them and assisting with the MRI procedures, as well as other administrative aspects of the project specified in the project proposal. It is thus preferable that this person has a degree in neuropsychology and some familiarity with the testing materials being used. This person will also have experience working with families and people with schizophrenia. Also one Research Assisatant at 1 FTE . Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: Retention (.405 FTE): Investigator: .25 FTE, will oversee the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of the functional neuroimaging and neurocognitive data and will contribute to manuscript preparation. Also retained 2 faculty investigators at .05 FTE each (.10 FTE total). Data Manager: .055 FTE. will work closely with the investigators in the design of the database and quality control procedures. She will assist in the design of edits and review of data to ensure accurate data for analysis. (Total jobs reported: 2)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Jun. 8, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.
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