Mental Health

Precise prescription of rTMS for treatment resistant depression

Dr. Vila-Rodriguez's research will work towards improving diagnostic accuracy and treatment outcomes in persons suffering treatment-resistant depression (TRD). By incorporating neurophysiological-based biomarkers (NPBs) into clinical practice, treatment response can be more easily predicted, preventing relapse in patients with major depressive disorder.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

The role of the norepinephrine system in emotionally-biased attention and learning

Individuals vary widely in the aspects of the world they perceive and remember: some filter their environments through rose coloured glasses to perceive sources of pleasure, while others are attuned to signs of threat. Such affective biases in attention influence memory and characterize mood disorders and pathological responses to trauma as well as addictive behaviours. Yet much remains to be learned about neural mechanisms underlying such biases, and the factors that influence their development and potential for change.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Development and assessment of strategies to promote social integration into new communities

Social connections and social support networks are essential for physical and mental health. In fact, recent research suggests that how long people live is better predicted by the quality of their social relationships and how well they are integrated in their community, than it is by how much they smoke and drink, or whether they are obese. Loneliness, on the other hand, is linked to negative health outcomes including depression, poor sleep quality, more hospital and doctor visits, and compromised immune system functioning.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Towards a provincial policy framework for substance use services in BC

Opioid use disorder is one of the most challenging forms of addiction facing the health care system in BC and is a major driver of the recent surge in illicit drug overdose deaths in the province. In the context of the current public health emergency, Provincial Health Services Authority agencies the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) have identified an urgent need for a policy framework articulating the full range of therapeutic options for the optimal treatment and harm reduction measures those with opioid use disorder.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Assessment of melanotransferrin as an Alzheimer's disease biomarker

Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research/The Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2015

Continuing Health Impact Assessment (CHIA) of the computer-based Drug and Alcohol Training Assessment in Kenya (eDATA K)

Tobacco, alcohol and other substance use disorders (SUD) are among the most important risk factors for the global burden of disease, with a 38 percent increase in global burden of the disease from substance use in the 20 years between 1990 and 2010, mainly driven by increased drug use (57 percent) and alcohol use (32 percent).

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2015
Health Category: 

Screening and development of molecules targeting presynaptic SNARE protein-protein interactions as novel pharmacological strategy in schizophrenia and other mental illnesses

Screening and development of molecules targeting presynaptic SNARE protein-protein interactions as novel pharmacological strategy in schizophrenia and other mental illnesses Schizophrenia is one of the major disabling mental disorders with a worldwide prevalence of about one percent. Although the cause  of schizophrenia remains unclear, converging data indicate that dysfunctions altering neurotransmitter levels in the synaptic cleft, the tiny space between nerve cells in which nerve impulses are conducted, might be at the core of this disorder.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2013
Health Category: 

Safety, belonging and mental health: Understanding the intersections between violence, place, and mental health in the lives of transgender and gender nonconforming people

Studies reveal that transgender and gender non-conforming people experience pervasive and multiple forms of violence in numerous public and private places, suggesting they may be more vulnerable to violence across their lifespan than the general population.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2013
Health Category: 

Mechanisms of cardiovascular disease in children with mental health conditions

Prescriptions of second-generation antipsychotic  (SGA) medication for children in British Columbia increased 22-fold from 1996 to 2010. These medications treat the underlying mental health issues (e.g. psychosis, depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) but often come with side-effects, including metabolic syndrome.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2013

The dynamic interplay between women's stress and reproductive axes across reproductive transitions: post-partum amenorrhea, the resumption of ovarian cyclicity and early pregnancy

Stress is often cited as having negative effects on women’s health. Most research, however, does not adequately account for the changes in stress physiology women experience as they transition between key reproductive phases (post-partum amenorrhea, resumption of ovarian cyclicity, and pregnancy). Reproductive function is modulated by the HPG (hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal) axis, while stress response is controlled by the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis. These two axes overlap and interact in manner a that affects both reproductive function and stress.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2012
Health Category: 

Training parents as friendship coaches for children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a syndrome marked by inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity that affects 5-8 percent of Canadian youth. It makes up the most frequent referral for children’s mental health services and is associated with considerable psychosocial morbidity. A significant aspect of the impairment in ADHD is the difficulty these children face in getting along with peers. More than half of children with this condition are severely disliked by their peers or do not have a single friend.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2012
Health Category: 

Socioeconomic status as a predictor of prenatal mental health, use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors during pregnancy, and infant outcomes

During pregnancy, approximately 15 per cent of women experience depression requiring medical intervention. Although these conditions are often treated with Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SRI) antidepressants, these drugs are reported to increase the risks of adverse infant outcomes, including preterm birth, small for gestational age (SGA) birth, respiratory distress, and some congenital heart malformations.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2011
Health Category: 

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