The PI for this award is Rajendra A. Morey, a Clinical Associate in the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University with a primary faculty appointment at the Duke-UNC Brain Imaging and Analysis Center. Drs. Gregory McCarthy and Jonathan Davidson will serve as mentors. The candidate's short-term career goals are to broaden his understanding in (a) neurobiology and functional neuroanatomy underlying PTSD (b) functional neuroimaging research methodology (c) use of psychometric tools in PTSD research (d) biostatistics (d) responsible conduct of patient oriented research. His long-term goals are to develop a high quality research program that utilizes functional brain imaging to clarify the role of cognitive and emotion processes in the onset and treatment of PTSD. The candidate will facilitate his educational objectives by integrating didactics, graduate courses, directed readings, tutorials, authoring of review articles and augmented by training in clinical research program management, grantsmanship, and research ethics. PTSD is characterized by three cardinal features: (i) reliving the traumatic experience through frequent memories and intrusive thoughts, (ii) avoidance of reminders of the traumatic event, (iii) a chronic state of hyperarousal;these may develop in the aftermath of severe psychological trauma and affect approximately 8% of the US population. Impaired attention and memory are the most consistently reported neurocognitive findings associated with PTSD, yet the neural basis of these deficits is not well understood and warrants further investigation. The goal of this proposal is to investigate the impact of emotional dysregulation associated with PTSD on the neural correlates of attention and memory. The three principle aims of this study are to use functional MRI to describe the interaction of emotion with (i) voluntary attention, fii) involuntary attention, and (iii) memory in patients with PTSD. Previously tested cognitive challenges will be used in the fMRI environment to quantify task related activation between PTSD patients, trauma controls, and healthy controls. Correlations between fMRI measures and neuropsychological and clinical measures will be investigated. The evidence gained from this study is expected to further the field of PTSD and our understanding of the functional neural circuits that contribute to attention and memory deficits.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Neural Basis of Psychopathology, Addictions and Sleep Disorders Study Section (NPAS)
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Chavez, Mark
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Duke University
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Brown, Vanessa M; Strauss, Jennifer L; LaBar, Kevin S et al. (2014) Acute effects of trauma-focused research procedures on participant safety and distress. Psychiatry Res 215:154-8
Morey, Rajendra A; Haswell, Courtney C; Selgrade, Elizabeth S et al. (2013) Effects of chronic mild traumatic brain injury on white matter integrity in Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. Hum Brain Mapp 34:2986-99
Morey, Rajendra A; Gold, Andrea L; LaBar, Kevin S et al. (2012) Amygdala volume changes in posttraumatic stress disorder in a large case-controlled veterans group. Arch Gen Psychiatry 69:1169-78
Hayes, Jasmeet Pannu; Morey, Rajendra A; Tupler, Larry A (2012) A case of frontal neuropsychological and neuroimaging signs following multiple primary-blast exposure. Neurocase 18:258-69
Morey, Rajendra A; McCarthy, Gregory; Selgrade, Elizabeth S et al. (2012) Neural systems for guilt from actions affecting self versus others. Neuroimage 60:683-92
Guerra, Vito S; Calhoun, Patrick S; Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center Workgroup (2011) Examining the relation between posttraumatic stress disorder and suicidal ideation in an OEF/OIF veteran sample. J Anxiety Disord 25:12-8
Hayes, Jasmeet Pannu; LaBar, Kevin S; McCarthy, Gregory et al. (2011) Reduced hippocampal and amygdala activity predicts memory distortions for trauma reminders in combat-related PTSD. J Psychiatr Res 45:660-9
Morey, Rajendra A; Hariri, Ahmad R; Gold, Andrea L et al. (2011) Serotonin transporter gene polymorphisms and brain function during emotional distraction from cognitive processing in posttraumatic stress disorder. BMC Psychiatry 11:76
Morey, Rajendra A; Selgrade, Elizabeth S; Wagner 2nd, Henry Ryan et al. (2010) Scan-rescan reliability of subcortical brain volumes derived from automated segmentation. Hum Brain Mapp 31:1751-62
Pannu Hayes, Jasmeet; Labar, Kevin S; Petty, Christopher M et al. (2009) Alterations in the neural circuitry for emotion and attention associated with posttraumatic stress symptomatology. Psychiatry Res 172:7-15

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