This is a resubmission of an application for a K-24 Midcareer Investigator Award in patient-oriented research (POR). The objectives of the award is to support career development of Helen Lavretsky, M.D. dedicated to understanding the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of treatment response in geriatric depression. The Career Development Plan will allow the candidate to: (1) develop an expertise in functional neuroimaging focused on the [F-18]fallypride positron emission tomography (PET) that is relevant to her ongoing investigation of the dopaminergic mechanisms of methylphenidate in geriatric depression;(2) extend her knowledge and skills to the use of functional MRI (fMRI) with the proposed coursework and tutorials;(3) enhance her ability to lead clinical studies with the use of biomarkers focused on treatment response in older patients with mood disorders complicated by cognitive impairment or caregiver stress;(4) improve her mentoring skills and her ability to recruit and mentor underrepresented minority and women trainees. The Mentoring Plan is targeted towards beginning investigators who want to learn to design and conduct patient-oriented research in late-life mood disorders. Under supervision by the candidate, trainees will obtain hands-on experience by conducting research in geriatric mood disorders, and by preparing scientific reports and entry-level K awards. The Research Plan is focused on the pilot use of the [F-18]fallypride PET to investigate the role of enhanced dopaminergic neurotransmission in the context of the clinical trial of methylphenidate (MPH) augmentation of citalopram to enhance clinical and cognitive outcomes in 16 subjects with geriatric depression. The primary aims of this study are to demonstrate that subjects receiving MPH with citalopram will experience greater decrease in the severity of depression and improvement in executive cognitive tests compared to those receiving citalopram+placebo, which will be related to the greater percent change in [(18)F] fallypride striatal/nonstriatal BP. With the support of this award, additional work proposed in this application will focus on the use and the mechanisms of mind-body interventions for geriatric depression.

Public Health Relevance

This is a grant application for a K-24 Mid-career Development Award to assist the candidate's transition to becoming a primary research mentor for junior colleagues in the area of developing optimal treatments for geriatric depression focused on the investigation of the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of treatment response. The proposal is based on two funded project and an additional pilot project proposing to investigate dopamine neurotransmitter function in treatment outcomes of geriatric depression.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24)
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Interventions Committee for Adult Disorders (ITVA)
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Evans, Jovier D
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University of California Los Angeles
Overall Medical
Los Angeles
United States
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Vlasova, Roza M; Siddarth, Prabha; Krause, Beatrix et al. (2018) Resilience and White Matter Integrity in Geriatric Depression. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 26:874-883
Funes, Cynthia M; Lavretsky, Helen; Ercoli, Linda et al. (2018) Apathy Mediates Cognitive Difficulties in Geriatric Depression. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 26:100-106
Laird, Kelsey T; Lavretsky, Helen; Paholpak, Pattharee et al. (2018) Clinical correlates of resilience factors in geriatric depression. Int Psychogeriatr :1-10
Laird, Kelsey T; Lavretsky, Helen; St Cyr, Natalie et al. (2018) Resilience predicts remission in antidepressant treatment of geriatric depression. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 33:1596-1603
Abbott, Ryan; Chang, Donald D; Eyre, Harris A et al. (2018) Pharmacogenetic Decision Support Tools: A New Paradigm for Late-Life Depression? Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 26:125-133
Eyre, Harris A; Siddarth, Prabha; van Dyk, Kathleen et al. (2017) Neural correlates of apathy in late-life depression: a pilot [18 F]FDDNP positron emission tomography study. Psychogeriatrics 17:186-193
Eyre, Harris A; Lavretsky, Helen; Forbes, Malcolm et al. (2017) Convergence Science Arrives: How Does It Relate to Psychiatry? Acad Psychiatry 41:91-99
Eyre, Harris; Siddarth, Prabha; Cyr, Natalie et al. (2017) Comparing the Immune-Genomic Effects of Vilazodone and Paroxetine in Late-Life Depression: A Pilot Study. Pharmacopsychiatry 50:256-263
Lavretsky, Helen (2017) Hallucinations Predict Relapse After Discontinuation of Risperidone in Patients With Alzheimer's Disease and Psychosis or Agitation. Am J Psychiatry 174:307-308
Eyre, Harris A; Siddarth, Prabha; Acevedo, Bianca et al. (2017) A randomized controlled trial of Kundalini yoga in mild cognitive impairment. Int Psychogeriatr 29:557-567

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