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

Joanne Matsubara: Granzyme B Contributes to Choroidal Neovascularization and Age-Related Macular Degeneration through Proteolysis of Thrombospondin-1

Journal: Laboratory Investigation

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of irreversible central vision loss in the elderly. The pathology of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD), also known as wet AMD, is associated with an abnormal blood vessel growth in the eye and involves an imbalance of proangiogenic and antiangiogenic factors. Thrombospondin (TSP)-1 and TSP-2 are endogenous matricellular proteins that inhibit angiogenesis. In this study, data suggest that extracellular GzmB-mediated proteolysis degrades TSP-1 in the nAMD eyes. As a potent and natural inhibitor of angiogenesis, TSP-1 plays a significant role in controlling abnormal neovascular events not only in the eye but also in angiogenic disorders of the skin and in cancerous tumors.


Fidel Vila-Rodriguez: Functional Connectivity Mapping for rTMS Target Selection in Depression

Journal: The American Journal of Psychiatry

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) protocols increasingly use subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) functional connectivity to individualize treatment targets. However, the efficacy of this approach is unclear, with conflicting findings and varying effect sizes across studies. Here, the authors investigated the effect of the stimulation site’s functional connectivity with the sgACC (sgACC-StimFC) on treatment outcome to rTMS in 295 patients with major depression.


Tao Huan: HDPairFinder: A data processing platform for hydrogen/deuterium isotopic labeling-based nontargeted analysis of trace-level amino-containing chemicals in environmental water

Journal: Journal of Environmental Sciences

The combination of hydrogen/deuterium (H/D) formaldehyde-based isotopic methyl labeling with solid-phase extraction and high-performance liquid chromatography–high resolution mass spectrometry (HPLC-HRMS) is a powerful analytical solution for nontargeted analysis of trace-level amino-containing chemicals in water samples. Given the huge amount of chemical information generated in HPLC-HRMS analysis, identifying all possible H/D-labeled amino chemicals presents a significant challenge in data processing. To address this, researchers designed a streamlined data processing pipeline that can automatically extract H/D-labeled amino chemicals from the raw HPLC-HRMS data with high accuracy and efficiency.


Christian Schütz: Sleep and Rest-Activity Rhythms in Recovering Patients with Severe Concurrent Mental and Substance Use Disorder: A Pilot Study

Journal: Journal of Dual Diagnosis

Mental health and substance use disorders are commonly associated with disrupted sleep and circadian rest-activity rhythms. How these disorders in combination relate to sleep and circadian organization is not well studied. This study provides the first quantitative assessment of sleep and rest-activity rhythms in inpatients with complex concurrent disorders, taking into account categories of substance use (stimulant vs. stimulant and opioid use) and psychiatric diagnosis (psychotic disorder and mood disorder). The study also explores how sleep and rest-activity rhythms relate to psychiatric functioning.


Luke Clark: Engineered highs: Reward variability and frequency as potential prerequisites of behavioural addiction

Journal: Addictive Behaviors

Influential learning-based accounts of substance addictions posit the attribution of incentive salience to drug-associated cues, and its escalation by the direct dopaminergic effects of drugs. In translating this account to disordered gambling, researchers have noted how the intermittent nature of monetary rewards in gambling (i.e. the variable ratio) may allow for analogous learning processes, via effects on dopaminergic signalling.

The aim of the present article is to consider how multiple sources of reward variability operate within modern gambling products, and how similar sources of variability, as well as some novel sources of variability, also apply to other digital products implicated in behavioural addictions, including gaming, shopping, social media and online pornography. Collectively, evidence illustrates how qualitative and quantitative variability of reward can confer addictive potential to non-drug reinforcers by exploiting the psychological and neural processes that rely on predictability to guide reward seeking behaviour.


William Panenka and Alasdair Barr: Are Younger Medical Cannabis Users at Risk? Comparing Patterns of Use and Mental Health in Younger and Older Medical Cannabis Dispensary Users

Journal: Children and Teenagers

While there has been a considerable amount of research on recreational cannabis use in youth to date, much less is known about patterns of medical cannabis use in youth. Adult medical versus recreational cannabis users may differ in how they use the product on important factors such as dose, frequency and route of ingestion, and so it is important to understand whether adolescents and young adults differ in how they use medical cannabis compared to adults, and if this increases risk of impaired mental health. In the present study, one hundred members of a community cannabis dispensary who endorsed cannabis use for medical purposes were assessed for major psychiatric disorders, and completed questionnaires related to stress, depression, sleep and somatic symptoms.

In comparison to the older medical cannabis users, there were unexpectedly few differences, both in mental health status as well as pattern of medical cannabis use. These findings contrast with those of recreational cannabis users, and indicate that medical cannabis in youth may be as effective and well-tolerated as in older adults.


Daniel Vigo: Suicidal Ideation Amongst University Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Time Trends and Risk Factors

Journal: The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry

This study examined time trends in suicidal ideation in post-secondary students over the first three waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada and identify subpopulations of students with increased risk.

The general university student population in this study was relatively resilient with respect to suicidal ideation during the first three waves of the pandemic, but trends indicate the possibility of delayed impact. Specific sub-populations were found to be at increased risk and should be considered for targeted support. Further analyses should be undertaken to continue monitoring suicidality trends throughout the remainder of the pandemic and beyond.


Tao Huan: Mechanistic Understanding of the Discrepancies between Common Peak Picking Algorithms in Liquid Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry-Based Metabolomics

Journal: Analytical Chemistry

Inconsistent peak picking outcomes are a critical concern in processing liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS)-based untargeted metabolomics data. This work systematically studied the mechanisms behind the discrepancies among five commonly used peak picking algorithms, including CentWave in XCMS, linear-weighted moving average in MS-DIAL, automated data analysis pipeline (ADAP) in MZmine 2, Savitzky–Golay in El-MAVEN, and FeatureFinderMetabo in OpenMS.


Jason Snyder: Enhanced excitability but mature action potential waveforms at mossy fiber terminals of young, adult-born hippocampal neurons in mice

Journal: Communications Biology

Adult-born granule neurons pass through immature critical periods where they display enhanced somatic excitability and afferent plasticity, which is believed to endow them with unique roles in hippocampal learning and memory. Using patch clamp recordings in mouse hippocampal slices, here we show that young neuron hyper-excitability is also observed at presynaptic mossy fiber terminals onto CA3 pyramidal neurons. However, action potential waveforms mature faster in the bouton than in the soma, suggesting rapid efferent functionality during immature stages.


Lakshmi Yatham, Raymond Lam, Sophia Frangou, Fidel Vila-Rodriguez: Effects of intermittent theta-burst transcranial magnetic stimulation on cognition and hippocampal volumes in bipolar depression

Journal: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is increasingly used to treat neurocognitive symptoms in mood disorders. Intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) is a brief version of TMS that may preferentially target cognitive functions. This study evaluated whether iTBS leads to cognitive improvements and associated increased hippocampal volumes in bipolar depression.


Mark Cembrowski: Sharp cell-type-identity changes differentiate the retrosplenial cortex from the neocortex

Journal: Cell Reports

The laminae of the neocortex are fundamental processing layers of the mammalian brain. Notably, such laminae are believed to be relatively stereotyped across short spatial scales such that shared laminae between nearby brain regions exhibit similar constituent cells. Here, researchers consider a potential exception to this rule by studying the retrosplenial cortex (RSC), a brain region known for sharp cytoarchitectonic differences across its granular-dysgranular border. Using a variety of transcriptomics techniques, this study identified, spatially mapped, and interpreted the excitatory cell-type landscape of the mouse RSC. In doing so, researchers uncover that RSC gene expression and cell types change sharply at the granular-dysgranular border. In collection, the RSC exhibits a variety of intrinsic cell-type specializations and embodies an organizational principle wherein cell-type identities can vary sharply within and between brain regions.