Publications by our Faculty

The department of Psychiatry encourages its member to contact the press office ( about notable publications for which a press release might be appropriate.

June 2018
Low-frequency cortical activity is a neuromodulatory target that tracks recovery after stroke
Ramanathan D, Guo L, Gulati T, Davidson G, Hishinuma AK, Won S, Knight RT, Chang EF, Swanson RA, Ganguly K.
Recent work has highlighted the importance of transient low-frequency oscillatory (LFO; <4 Hz) activity in the healthy primary motor cortex during skilled upper-limb tasks. These brief bouts of oscillatory activity may establish the timing or sequencing of motor actions. Here, we show that LFOs track motor recovery post-stroke and can be a physiological target for neuromodulation. In rodents, we found that reach-related LFOs, as measured in both the local field potential and the related spiking activity, were diminished after stroke and that spontaneous recovery was closely correlated with their restoration in the perilesional cortex. Sensorimotor LFOs were also diminished in a human subject with chronic disability after stroke in contrast to two non-stroke subjects who demonstrated robust LFOs. Therapeutic delivery of electrical stimulation time-locked to the expected onset of LFOs was found to significantly improve skilled reaching in stroke animals. Together, our results suggest that restoration or modulation of cortical oscillatory dynamics is important for the recovery of upper-limb function and that they may serve as a novel target for clinical neuromodulation.
Link to article

March 2018
Implementing a College Mental Health Program - an Overview of the First Twelve Months.
Downs N1, Alderman T1, Bhakta S1, Greenwood TA1.
1 a University of California San Diego , Psychiatry , La Jolla , United States.
OBJECTIVES:To evaluate the demographics and clinical utilization patterns among college students during the initial 12 months of a novel, multi-disciplinary, collaborative, college mental health program (CMHP).
Link to publication in PubMed

September 2017
Engagement in pleasant leisure activities and blood pressure: A 5-year longitudinal study in Alzheimer's caregivers.
Psychosomatic Medicine, 79(7), 735-741. PMID: 28640179 PMCID: PMC5573635 features Mausbach BT, Romero-Moreno R, Bos T, von Kanel R, Ziegler MG, Allison MA, Mills PJ, Dimsdale JE, Ancoli-Israel S, Losada A, Marquez-Gonzalez M, Patterson TL, Grant I.
OBJECTIVES:Elevated blood pressure is a significant public health concern, particularly given its association with cardiovascular disease risk, including stroke. Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease has been associated with physical health morbidity, including higher blood pressure. Engagement in adaptive coping strategies may help prevent blood pressure elevation in this population. This 5-year longitudinal study examined whether greater participation in pleasant leisure activities was associated with reduced blood pressure in caregivers.
Link to publication in PubMed

March 2017
Coagulation imbalance and neurocognitive functioning in older HIV+ adults on suppressive antiretroviral therapy.
AIDS (London, England), 31(6), 787-795. PMID: 28099190 features Montoya JL, Iudicello J, Oppenheim HA, Fazeli PL, Potter M, Ma Q, Mills PJ, Ellis RJ, Grant I, Letendre SL, Moore DJ.
OBJECTIVES: To compare plasma biomarkers of coagulation between HIV-infected individuals and HIV-uninfected controls and to assess the impact of disturbances in coagulation on neurocognitive functioning in HIV. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study of 66 antiretroviral therapy-treated virally suppressed HIV-infected and 34 HIV-uninfected older (≥50 years of age) adults. METHODS: Participants completed standardized neurobehavioral and neuromedical assessments. Neurocognitive functioning was evaluated using a well-validated comprehensive neuropsychological battery. Plasma biomarkers associated with procoagulation (fibrinogen, p-selectin, tissue factor, and von Willebrand factor), anticoagulation (antithrombin, protein C, and thrombomodulin), fibrinolysis (d-dimer, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, and plasminogen) were collected. Multivariable linear regression was used to test the interaction of HIV and coagulation on neurocognitive functioning. RESULTS: Most participants were male (78.0%) and non-Hispanic white (73.0%) with a mean age of 57.8 years. Among HIV-infected participants, mean estimated duration of HIV infection was 19.4 years and median current CD4 cell count was 654 cells/mm. Levels of soluble biomarkers of procoagulation, anticoagulation, and fibrinolysis were comparable between the HIV serostatus groups. Coagulation and HIV had an interacting effect on neurocognitive functioning, such that greater coagulation imbalance was associated with poorer neurocognitive functioning among the HIV-infected participants. The moderating effect of coagulation on neurocognition was driven by procoagulant but not anticoagulant or fibrinolytic biomarkers. CONCLUSIONS: Elevated levels of procoagulants may exert a particularly detrimental effect on neurocognitive functioning among older HIV-infected persons. A better understanding of the specific role of coagulation in the etiology of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders may lead to treatments aimed at reducing coagulopathy, thereby improving neurocognitive outcomes.
Link to publication in PubMed

The Use of Cannabis for Headache Disorders
Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 2(1), 61-71 features Lochte BC, Beletsky A, Samuel NK, Grant I.
Headache disorders are common, debilitating, and, in many cases, inadequately managed by existing treatments. Although clinical trials of cannabis for neuropathic pain have shown promising results, there has been limited research on its use, specifically for headache disorders. This review considers historical prescription practices, summarizes the existing reports on the use of cannabis for headache, and examines the preclinical literature exploring the role of exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids to alter headache pathophysiology. Currently, there is not enough evidence from well-designed clinical trials to support the use of cannabis for headache, but there are sufficient anecdotal and preliminary results, as well as plausible neurobiological mechanisms, to warrant properly designed clinical trials. Such trials are needed to determine short- and long-term efficacy for specific headache types, compatibility with existing treatments, optimal administration practices, as well as potential risks.
Link to publication

January 2017
Altered reward expectancy in individuals with recent methamphetamine dependence.
Journal of Psychopharmacology (Oxford, England), 31(1), 17-30. PMID: 27649775 PMCID: PMC5225125 features Bischoff-Grethe A, Connolly CG, Jordan SJ, Brown GG, Paulus MP, Tapert SF, Heaton RK, Woods SP, Grant I..
BACKGROUND: Chronic methamphetamine use may lead to changes in reward-related function of the ventral striatum and caudate nucleus. Whether methamphetamine-dependent individuals show heightened reactivity to positively valenced stimuli (i.e. positive reinforcement mechanisms), or an exaggerated response to negatively valenced stimuli (i.e. driven by negative reinforcement mechanisms) remains unclear. This study investigated neural functioning of expectancy and receipt for gains and losses in adults with (METH+) and without (METH-) histories of methamphetamine dependence. METHODS: Participants (17 METH+; 23 METH-) performed a probabilistic feedback expectancy task during blood-oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants were given visual cues probabilistically associated with monetary gain, loss, or neutral outcomes. General linear models examined the BOLD response to: (1) anticipation of gains and losses, and (2) gain and loss monetary outcomes. RESULTS: METH+ had less BOLD response to loss anticipation than METH- in the ventral striatum and posterior caudate. METH+ also showed more BOLD response to loss outcomes than to gain outcomes in the anterior and posterior caudate, whereas METH- did not show differential responses to the valence of outcomes. DISCUSSION: METH+ individuals showed attenuated neural response to anticipated gains and losses, but their response to loss outcomes was greater than to gain outcomes. A decreased response to loss anticipation, along with a greater response to loss outcomes, suggests an altered ability to evaluate future risks and benefits based upon prior experience, which may underlie suboptimal decision-making in METH+ individuals that increases the likelihood of risky behavior.
Link to publication in PubMed

September 2014: 
Adverse Consequences of Glucocorticoid Medication: Psychological, Cognitive, and Behavioral Effects
The American Psychiatry Journal (AJP) features Dr. Lewis Judd and others from UCSD Department of Psychiatry.
A link to the manuscript in the AJP will be posted when available.

Glucocorticoids are the most commonly prescribed anti-inflammatory/immunosuppressant medications worldwide. This article highlights the risk of clinically significant and sometimes severe psychological, cognitive, and behavioral disturbances that may be associated with glucocorticoid use, as well as ways to prevent and treat these disturbances. An illustrative case vignette is presented describing a patient’s experience of cycles of manic-like behavior and depression while on high-dosage prednisone, with long-term cognitive disorganization, vulnerability to stress, and personality changes. Severe neuropsychiatric consequences (including suicide, suicide attempt, psychosis, mania, depression, panic disorder, and delirium, confusion, or disorientation) have been reported to occur in 15.7 per 100 person-years at risk for all glucocorticoid courses, and 22.2 per 100 person-years at risk for first courses. The majority of patients experience less severe but distressing and possibly persistent changes in mood, cognition, memory, or behavior during glucocorticoid treatment or withdrawal. Although prediction of such effects is difficult, risks vary with age, gender, dosage, prior psychiatric history, and several biological markers. Key mechanisms thought to underlie these risk factors are briefly described. Recommendations are given for identifying individual risk factors and for monitoring and managing adverse neuropsychiatric effects of glucocorticoids.
Adverse Consequences of Glucocorticoid Medication: Psychological, Cognitive, and Behavioral Effects