Research Departments & Organizations
My main area of interest is to understand vulnerability to mood disorders. A conceptual difficulty with studies of patients who are in an acute episode of mood disturbance is that any neurobiological changes seen may be epiphenomena of the acute illness and its treatment, rather than of true pathophysiological significance. I have therefore tried to develop a complementary strategy, namely to study fully recovered, medication-free euthymic subjects with a history of recurrent depression. The identification of biological dysfunction in these subjects could help identify biological markers which are responsible for trait vulnerability to recurrent illness. Identification in previously depressed patients of trait biological markers which exist independently of the illness state and medication will be an important step in understanding neurobiological vulnerability to the disorder. This could lead to better methods of identifying those at risk and thus to appropriate intervention strategies.
The development of novel therapeutic modalities in the field of mood disorders is the thrust of my clinical work. I have started a Bipolar Research Clinic based at the Ribicoff Facilities and we are currently involved in clinical trials of existing and novel compounds in the treatment of bipolar disorder. The combination of clinical and research interests as above will provide residents/fellows with an all round experience in clinical and academic psychiatry.
Specialized Terms: Affective Disorders; Magnetic Resonance; Neurobiology; Neuroimaging; Neuropsychiatry; Neuroscience; Psychiatry; Psychopharmacology; Resonance Spectroscopy
Depression, UK United Kingdom (2010)
A Study of GABA And 5-HT Interactions to Test a Molecular Model of Vulnerability
Abnormal prefrontal activity subserving attentional control of emotion in remitted depressed patients during a working memory task with emotional distracters.
Kerestes R, Ladouceur CD, Meda S, Nathan PJ, Blumberg HP, Maloney K, Ruf B, Saricicek A, Pearlson GD, Bhagwagar Z, Phillips ML. Abnormal prefrontal activity subserving attentional control of emotion in remitted depressed patients during a working memory task with emotional distracters. Psychological Medicine 2012, 42:29-40. 2012
Levetiracetam in the management of bipolar depression: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Saricicek A, Maloney K, Muralidharan A, Ruf B, Blumberg HP, Sanacora G, Lorberg B, Pittman B, Bhagwagar Z. Levetiracetam in the management of bipolar depression: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The Journal Of Clinical Psychiatry 2011, 72:744-50. 2011
Increased peripheral blood expression of electron transport chain genes in bipolar depression.
Beech RD, Lowthert L, Leffert JJ, Mason PN, Taylor MM, Umlauf S, Lin A, Lee JY, Maloney K, Muralidharan A, Lorberg B, Zhao H, Newton SS, Mane S, Epperson CN, Sinha R, Blumberg H, Bhagwagar Z. Increased peripheral blood expression of electron transport chain genes in bipolar depression. Bipolar Disorders 2010, 12:813-24. 2010
Antidepressant response and the serotonin transporter gene-linked polymorphic region.
Taylor MJ, Sen S, Bhagwagar Z. 2010 Antidepressant response and the serotonin transporter gene-linked polymorphic region. Biol Psychiatry. 2010 Sep 15;68(6):536-43. 2010
Enhanced visual motion perception in major depressive disorder.
Golomb JD, McDavitt JR, Ruf BM, Chen JI, Saricicek A, Maloney KH, Hu J, Chun MM, Bhagwagar Z. Enhanced visual motion perception in major depressive disorder. The Journal Of Neuroscience : The Official Journal Of The Society For Neuroscience 2009, 29:9072-7. 2009