This new application seeks five years of career retraining for clinical psychologist, Robert J. Thoma, Ph.D., to focus on patient-oriented alcohol research. Dr. Thoma is a neuropsychologist with 14 years of training and clinical experience in the assessment and psychological treatment of patients with psychopathology and cognitive disorders. He has worked in neuroimaging research labs at the Albuquerque VAMC, the University of Utah, and most recently, at the new Mental Illness Neuroscience Discovery (MIND) Imaging Center. He has spent the past five working at UNM's Department of Psychiatry, Center for Neuropsychological Services (CMS), much of his time spent in the evaluation of neuropsychological dysfunction in patients struggling with addictions, and in the course of this work he has become interested in the effect of alcohol dependence on brain and behavior. His career development plan emphasizes four areas for expanded expertise: (1) statistics/design methodology;(2) alcohol clinical research methods;(3) functional neuroimaging (magnetoencephalography, MEG;electroencephalography, EEG), and (4) scientific writing and research development. The primary resources for his training will be the Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and the Addictions (CASAA), the University of New Mexico, Department of Psychiatry, and the MIND Imaging Center. His primary mentor will be Dr. J. Scott Tonigan with support from other CASAA, UNM and MIND investigators. Dr. Thoma's training plan is to focus on clinical alcohol, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging assessment of patients diagnosed with alcohol dependence to: (1) establish EEG- and MEG-assessed auditory sensory gating as a biomarker for alcohol dependence;(2) to investigate cognitive dysfunction specific to dual diagnosis with alcohol dependence and schizophrenia;(3) to identify changes in neuropsychological and sensory gating impairment related to recovery from alcohol dependence;and (4) to use MEG to investigate alcohol-related cortico- and thalamo-cortical coherence abnormality. This project includes groups with remote and recent recovery from alcohol dependence and appropriate schizophrenia and normal controls. This is interdisciplinary research which closely follows the guidelines set out in the 2005 NIH Roadmap. It is relevant public health research in that it will help to develop new tools and biomarkers sensitive to alcohol-related cognitive dysfunction, and will expand our knowledge of cognitive recovery.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Health Services Research Review Subcommittee (AA)
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Matochik, John A
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University of New Mexico
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Monnig, Mollie A; Caprihan, Arvind; Yeo, Ronald A et al. (2013) Diffusion tensor imaging of white matter networks in individuals with current and remitted alcohol use disorders and comorbid conditions. Psychol Addict Behav 27:455-65
Sanjuan, Pilar Margaret; Thoma, Robert; Claus, Eric Daniel et al. (2013) Reduced white matter integrity in the cingulum and anterior corona radiata in posttraumatic stress disorder in male combat veterans: a diffusion tensor imaging study. Psychiatry Res 214:260-8
Hunter, Michael; Villarreal, Gerardo; McHaffie, Greg R et al. (2011) Lateralized abnormalities in auditory M50 sensory gating and cortical thickness of the superior temporal gyrus in post-traumatic stress disorder: preliminary results. Psychiatry Res 191:138-44
Pulsipher, Dalin T; Campbell, Richard A; Thoma, Robert et al. (2011) A critical review of neuroimaging applications in sports concussion. Curr Sports Med Rep 10:14-20
Thoma, Robert; Mullins, Paul; Ruhl, David et al. (2011) Perturbation of the glutamate-glutamine system in alcohol dependence and remission. Neuropsychopharmacology 36:1359-65
Thoma, Robert J; Monnig, Mollie A; Lysne, Per A et al. (2011) Adolescent substance abuse: the effects of alcohol and marijuana on neuropsychological performance. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 35:39-46
Thoma, Robert J; Hill, Dina E; Tonigan, J Scott et al. (2010) Adolescent Self-reported Alcohol/other Drug Use Consequences: Moderators of Self and Parent Agreement. Alcohol Treat Q 28:101-110
Thoma, Robert J; Monnig, Mollie; Hanlon, Faith M et al. (2009) Hippocampus volume and episodic memory in schizophrenia. J Int Neuropsychol Soc 15:182-95
Euler, Matthew; Thoma, Robert J; Gangestad, Steven W et al. (2009) The impact of developmental instability on Voxel-Based Morphometry analyses of neuroanatomical abnormalities in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res 115:1-7
Thoma, Robert J; Hanlon, Faith M; Petropoulos, Helen et al. (2008) Schizophrenia diagnosis and anterior hippocampal volume make separate contributions to sensory gating. Psychophysiology 45:926-35

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