In this project, our group is examining biological aspects of risk for mood and anxiety disorders in children. Such work has major public impact. By identifying biological risks in children, information on novel treatments and preventative interventions will emerge. Given the understanding of most chronic mental illnesses as developmental disorders, such information holds the hope of dramatically influencing the mental well-being of many individuals. This project encompasses work that is being implemented in three protocols. In one protocol, we are examining the degree to which traumatic experiences predict perturbations in brain function among youth with or without mood or anxiety disorders. In a second protocol, we are examining neurocognitive profiles in children and adolescents stratified with respect to personal and family history of mood and anxiety disorders. For these studies, personal history is defined based on early-childhood temperament. In a third protocol, we are acquiring fMRI data from a subset of these subjects. We also have expanded our efforts in these protocols to encompas studies in juveniles across the full span of childhood and adolescence. Considerable progress has been made during the life of this project, with an increasing trend of advancing activity. Studies on temperamental risk have expanded over the past year, to the point where they occupy approximately 75% of all resources in our research projects. Major questions remain on family-based associations, concerning the degree to which these associations reflect environmental, genetic, or interacting influences of genes and the environment. However, our focus on these issues this past year continues to decrease, so that we can devote an increasingly large proporiton of our resources to research on temperament. Moreover, our work on temperament has expanded to focus on two cohorts, one of which is entering early adulthood and the second of which is in grade school. Finally, other questions relate to the identification of factors that differentiate among children who are at high risk yet remain resilient from those who are at risk but manifest problems. Work in this project over the next few years is designed to address these questions. Adults with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depressive disorder (MDD) exhibit abnormalities in the structure and function of the amygdala, prefrontal cortex (PFC), and hippocampus. However, while these psychiatric disorders often emerge in childhood, the integrity of these neural structures have been minimally studied in psychiatrically impaired children and adolescents. Work performed in the current protocol has already begun to show that biological correlates of adult mental disorders may manifest quite early in life. In the current proposal on trauma, functional MRI (fMRI) will be used to evaluate the amygdala and the hippocampus in various groups of traumatized indivdiauls. In the past two years, recruitment into this group generally has been slow, and we still have yet to demonstrate clear and consistent findings differentiating cognitive and neural functioning in traumatized children. Our plan for the coming years is to continue to expand our efforts specifically on studies of temperament, as a risk factor, more than our studies specifically among traumatized indivdiuals. Because we do comprehensively assess stress exposure in all subjects, our studies of temperament should generate insights on the effects of stress in children. Anxiety in children of parents with major depressive disorder (MDD) poses a particularly high risk for later-life MDD. In adults, MDD involves dysfunction in prefrontal brain regions that regulate attention to emotional stimuli. These abnormalities: i) have been found primarily in adults with specific familial forms of MDD;ii) persist after recovery from MDD, and iii) relate to anxiety. These findings raise the possibility that risk for MDD is tied to dysfunction in prefrontal regions involved in regulation of emotion, which possibly manifests as early-life anxiety. If this possibility were confirmed in never-depressed adolescents at high risk for MDD, the findings would provide key insights into the developmental neurobiology of MDD. The goal of this protocol is to study the neural substrate of risk for MDD in young people. This protocol tests the hypothesis that adolescents at high risk for MDD by virtue of childhood anxiety and parental history of MDD exhibit dysfunction in prefrontal cortex and amygdala, regions involved in emotion regulation. This goal will be accomplished through behavioral and fMRI studies of emotion regulation in high and low-risk adolescents. In contrast to our work on trauma, we have made considerable progress in this area. This progress is reflected in a serious of high-impact publications emerging from this work. With respect to our research neurocognitive profiles in offspring of depressed and/or anxious parents, we have acquired data in 225 subjects, working closely with a group from New York University Child Study Center. This includes behavioral data on a face-viewing paradigm that we have also been using to conduct our fMRI studies. Finally, as noted above, our most in-dpeth studies focus on temperament, particularly the temperament of """"""""behavioral inhibition"""""""". This work is made possibley through our strong collaborative relationship with Dr. Nathan Fox at the University of Maryland. More than the other areas of risk in the current set of studies, these studies with Dr. Fox have received very high priority. Dr. Fox has followed cohorts of approximately 600 infants as they passed though childhood. As noted above, this includes two separate cohorts. These children have received repeated assessments of their temperament. Temperament classifications in the sample during infancy and early childhood have been shown to predict behavior later in life. We have also completed an ever-increasing series of investigations in this sample. Results from these studies support the conclusions generated in other research within our group. Namely, this work establishes the presence of strong, consistent associations between the presence of and risk factors for mental illness in children and the presence of perturbed brain function. In the past year, our group continues to have significant success in charting relationships between temperament and brain function. We continue to publish widely in this area, and we have acquired data from many subjects during the past 12 months. We will devote considerable efforts to preparing manuscripts from these data during the coming year.

Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
10
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$1,878,324
Indirect Cost
Name
U.S. National Institute of Mental Health
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
State
Country
Zip Code
Shechner, Tomer; Jarcho, Johanna M; Wong, Stuart et al. (2017) Threats, rewards, and attention deployment in anxious youth and adults: An eye tracking study. Biol Psychol 122:121-129
Kaczkurkin, Antonia N; Moore, Tyler M; Ruparel, Kosha et al. (2016) Elevated Amygdala Perfusion Mediates Developmental Sex Differences in Trait Anxiety. Biol Psychiatry 80:775-785
White, Stuart F; VanTieghem, Michelle; Brislin, Sarah J et al. (2016) Neural Correlates of the Propensity for Retaliatory Behavior in Youths With Disruptive Behavior Disorders. Am J Psychiatry 173:282-90
Briggs-Gowan, Margaret J; Grasso, Damion; Bar-Haim, Yair et al. (2016) Attention bias in the developmental unfolding of post-traumatic stress symptoms in young children at risk. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 57:1083-91
Gilbert, Kirsten Elizabeth; Luking, Katherine Rose; Pagliaccio, David et al. (2016) Dampening Positive Affect and Neural Reward Responding in Healthy Children: Implications for Affective Inflexibility. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol :1-11
Michalska, Kalina J; Shechner, Tomer; Hong, Melanie et al. (2016) A developmental analysis of threat/safety learning and extinction recall during middle childhood. J Exp Child Psychol 146:95-105
Jarcho, Johanna M; Davis, Megan M; Shechner, Tomer et al. (2016) Early-Childhood Social Reticence Predicts Brain Function in Preadolescent Youths During Distinct Forms of Peer Evaluation. Psychol Sci 27:821-35
Adleman, Nancy E; Chen, Gang; Reynolds, Richard C et al. (2016) Age-related differences in the neural correlates of trial-to-trial variations of reaction time. Dev Cogn Neurosci 19:248-57
Coffman, Marika C; Trubanova, Andrea; Richey, J Anthony et al. (2015) Validation of the NIMH-ChEFS adolescent face stimulus set in an adolescent, parent, and health professional sample. Int J Methods Psychiatr Res 24:275-86
Britton, Jennifer C; Suway, Jenna G; Clementi, Michelle A et al. (2015) Neural changes with attention bias modification for anxiety: a randomized trial. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci 10:913-20

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