Psychiatry - Research Publications

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    Ayahuasca and Childhood Trauma: Potential Therapeutic Applications
    Perkins, D ; Sarris, J ; Caiuby Labate, B ; Cavnar, C (Springer International Publishing, 2021)
    The last 20 years have seen major developments in the understanding of how childhood trauma (negative events that cause distress and overwhelm a person’s ability to cope) can have long-term effects on the health and well-being of adults who have experienced this. Child sexual abuse was first included in global burden of disease and disability estimates in 2004, and there has been a steady accumulation of research and evidence identifying the public health issues and costs associated with various traumatic childhood experiences. Much of this research has used the framework of adverse childhood experiences or ACEs, which encompass emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, as well as various other adverse events, including growing up in a household in which there is domestic violence, alcohol or drug abuse, or a member with mental illness; criminal behavior or incarceration of a family member; caregiver separation or divorce; and neglect, both physical and emotional. Such experiences have been found to be associated with higher rates of physical and mental illness, disability, and premature death in adulthood.
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    White matter pathology in schizophrenia
    Di Biase, MA ; Pantelis, C ; Zalesky, A ; Kubicki, M ; Shenton, ME (Springer Nature, 2020-01-01)
    Significant effort has been devoted to characterizing white matter pathology in patients with schizophrenia and its impact on brain connectivity (Samartzis et al., J Neuroimaging 24(2):101-10, 2014; Fusar-Poli et al., Neurosci Biobehav Rev 37(8):1680-91, 2013; Bora et al., Schizophr Res 127(1):46-57, 2011). This is particularly important in light of the disconnection hypothesis-a key etiological theory of schizophrenia suggesting that symptoms arise from a failure of integration between distinct brain regions (Friston, Schizophr Res 30(2):115-25, 1998). In this chapter, we focus on neuroimaging evidence demonstrating structural white matter alterations in schizophrenia. Key questions addressed include: what methods are sensitive to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia? What is the evidence that white matter pathology emerges prior to or near to the onset of psychosis? Is the trajectory of white matter pathology stable or, alternatively, a dynamic process, with progressive changes evident over the course of illness? What are the limitations of these studies? How does neuroimaging evidence relate to micro- and meso-structural white matter findings?.