Check out some of the papers that were recently published by DMCBH members:

Noah Silverberg: Neuropsychological evaluation of functional cognitive disorder: a narrative review

Journal: The Clinical Neuropsychologist

Functional cognitive disorders (FCD) are among the most common but underrecognized conditions seen by neurologists. The objective of the study was to critically review contemporary theoretical models, diagnostic approaches, clinical features, and assessment findings in FCD, and make recommendations for neuropsychological evaluation of this condition.

The researchers found the cognitive symptoms of FCD are associated with distress and/or limitations in daily functioning, but are potentially reversible with appropriate identification and treatment. Careful history-taking and behavioral observations are essential to support the diagnosis of FCD. Neuropsychologists familiar with FCD can uniquely contribute to the care of patients with this condition by improving diagnostic clarity, richening case formulation, communicating effectively with referrers, and leading clinical management. Further research is needed to refine diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment.

Erin Michalak, Steven Barnes:
Engaging diverse patients in a diverse world: the development and preliminary evaluation of educational modules to support diversity in patient engagement research

Journal: Research Involvement and Engagement

Current practices for engaging patients in patient-oriented research (POR) result in a narrow pool of patient perspectives being reflected in POR. This project addressed the gaps in methodological knowledge to foster diversity in POR, through the co-design and evaluation of a series of educational modules for health researchers in British Columbia.

The results suggest the modules may be an engaging way to provide health researchers with tools and knowledge to increase diversity in health research. Future studies are needed to investigate best practices for engaging with communities not represented in the pilot project. While educational interventions represent one route to increasing diversity in POR, individual efforts must occur in tandem with high-level changes that address systemic barriers to engagement.


Erin Michalak: Risks and benefits of psilocybin use in people with bipolar disorder: An international web-based survey on experiences of ‘magic mushroom’ consumption 

Journal: Journal of Psychopharmacology

Psilocybin, the primary psychoactive component of psychedelic ‘magic mushrooms’, may have potential for treating depressive symptoms, and consequent applications for bipolar disorder (BD). Knowledge of the risks and benefits of psilocybin in BD is limited to case studies. The researchers surveyed experiences of psilocybin use in 541 people with BD.

One-third of respondents described new/increasing symptoms after psilocybin trips, prominently manic symptoms, difficulties sleeping and anxiety. Respondents indicated that psilocybin use was more helpful than harmful. The subjective benefits of psilocybin use for mental health symptoms reported by survey participants encourage further investigation of psilocybin-based treatments for BD. Clinical trials should incorporate careful monitoring of symptoms, as data suggest that BD symptoms may emerge or intensify following psilocybin use.


Stephanie Willerth: 3D bioprinting for organ and organoid models and disease modeling 

Journal: Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery

3D printing, a versatile additive manufacturing technique, has diverse applications. The authors focus on how 3D printing technology can enhance the drug discovery process through automating tissue production that enables high-throughput screening of potential drug candidates.

The research team found the next generation of a 3D bioprinted organ model holds great promises for the field of medicine. In terms of drug discovery, the incorporation of smart cell culture systems and biosensors into 3D bioprinted models could provide highly detailed and functional organ models for drug screening. By addressing current challenges of vascularization, electrophysiological control, and scalability, researchers can obtain more reliable and accurate data for drug development, reducing the risk of drug failures during clinical trials.


Teresa Liu-Ambrose, Roger Tam: Resistance Training Maintains White Matter and Physical Function in Older Women with Cerebral Small Vessel Disease: An Exploratory Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Trial

Journal: Journal of Alzheimer’s disease reports

The progression of white matter hyperintensities, a key hallmark of cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD), can be slowed by resistance training (RT). The objective of the study was to determine if RT preserves regional white matter integrity. Using magnetic resonance imaging data from a 12-month randomized controlled trial, the researchers compared the effects of a twice-weekly RT intervention versus active control on T1-weighted over T2-weighted ratio (T1w/T2w; a non-invasive proxy measure of white matter integrity).

Compared with the controls, RT increased T1w/T2w in the external capsule and posterior thalamic radiations with an increase in peak muscle power. Therefore, by maintaining white matter integrity, RT may be a promising intervention to counteract the pathological changes that accompany CSVD, while improving functional outcomes such as muscle power.


Kamyar Keramatian, Lakshmi Yatham: Patterns of pharmacotherapy for bipolar disorder: A GBC survey

Journal: Bipolar Disorders

To understand treatment practices for bipolar disorders (BD), this study investigated pharmacotherapeutic treatment patterns in 10,351 individuals with BD in North America, Europe, and Australia. The results found mood-stabilizing anticonvulsants, second-generation antipsychotics, and antidepressants were the most prescribed medications suggesting prescription patterns that are not necessarily guideline concordant. Significant differences exist in the prescription practices across different geographic regions, especially the underutilization of lithium in the North American cohorts and the higher utilization of first-generation antipsychotics in the European cohorts.

This study highlights the need to conduct future longitudinal studies to further explore these differences and their impact on outcomes, and to inform and implement evidence-based guidelines to help improve treatment practices in BD.