Departments & Organizations
Dr. Abi-Dargham's research focus is on using molecular imaging techniques (SPECT and PET) to study the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, schizophrenia related spectrum disorders and addiction. Her work has resulted in seminal publications describing the complex alterations of dopamine transmission in schizophrenia and their relationship to clinical symptoms, cognition and response to treatment, as well as their interrelatedness to glutamate dysfunction in schizophrenia.
These studies showed increased striatal dopamine release in schizophrenia, which has become one of the most established findings of schizophrenia research and is now being tested as a biomarker for risk to develop schizophrenia in prodromal patients.
The work with cortical D1 receptor has provided added rationale for testing D1 agonists in schizophrenia. A new direction for work in her imaging group now is dual diagnosis patients with comorbid schizophrenia and cannabis. Ultimately this work is relevant to developing biomarkers and more focused treatment interventions for these disorders. She received numerous awards, and published over 100 articles in major scientific journals.
Dr. Abi-Dargham is Past President for the Brain Imaging Council for the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Associate Editor for Neuropsychopharmacology for Brain Imaging and she has a large portfolio of federal, charitable and industry funded studies, including a Translational Conte Center funded by NIMH for the study of "Dopamine Dysfunction in Schizophrenia".