British Association for Pyschopharmacology. To advance education and research in the science of psychopharmacology
I am currently doing a PhD at the University of Bristol. The overarching themes of my thesis are chronic pain, sleep disturbance and cognition. I hope to develop a deeper understanding of the complex relationship between sleep mechanisms, chronic pain and mood disorders with the hope of evaluating sleep disturbance as a therapeutic target for those with chronic pain.
Throughout my PhD I plan to build upon the skills developed during my time at the Psychopharmacology Unit (Uni. Bristol), where my research focused on depression and deep brain stimulation (DBS). My current and previous presentations at BAP have involved work conducted in this developing field. Just recently I reported the results of observed and subjective depression scales from 8 patients selected for the first UK trial of DBS of the sub-genual cingulate and ventral capsule / nucleus accumbens.
DBS was found to benefit patients with treatment resistant depression as shown in both clinician-rated and self- rated depression scales. Significant decreases were found at 60 days of treatment, and after 480 days this trend continued to be significant across the group DBS led to an improvement in somatic, vegetative and psychological symptoms of depression. The observation of a 45% decrease in suicidal ideation is a critical finding, given the observed prevalence in severe and chronic depression. Importantly, it was suggested that the use of self-rated depression scales can under-estimate both the symptomatic and global severity of the depression faced by those with TRD. In future it would be appropriate for scales to include hypersomnia, increased appetite and sleep –wake routine to gather a more holistic view of severe TRD. Nonetheless, DBS in particular brain regions, such as the nucleus accumbens can be of therapeutic benefit to those with TRD, alleviating a range of the debilitating symptoms. My research in the field of severe depression is proving to be of enormous benefit in my present studies of patients with chronic pain.
I was surprised and thrilled to receive the President’s Poster Prize. I would like to thank both my supervisors and my colleagues at Bristol University and the British Association for Psychopharmacology for their encouragement and support. Lee Harrison, Bristol Univ
Comparison of depression outcomes in patients with Treatment resistant depression undergoing deep brain Stimulation: Results from Bristol DBS Depression Pilot Study
During my undergraduate years in Psychology at the University of Granada (Spain), I developed a strong interest in behavioural neuroscience and psychopharmacology. After my degree I moved to the UK and I studied for the MSc in Research Methods in Psychology at the University of Liverpool. Here I carried out a practical project on the role of the cannabinoid system in obesity. When I finished my MSc I obtained a PhD studentship in behavioural neuroscience at the University of Nottingham, supported by an MRC DTA scholarship, under the supervision of Professor C.M. Bradshaw and Dr H.J. Cassaday. The general theme of my PhD research was the application of a mathematical model of operant behaviour to the assessment of effects of neurobiological interventions on motivational and motor processes. The work presented at the BAP summer meeting was one of the experiments from my PhD project. The results showed that the orexin OX-1 receptor antagonist SB-334867-A, administered systemically or directly into the nucleus accumbens shell, suppressed responding on a progressive-ratio schedule. Quantitative analysis of the results based on a mathematical theory of schedule-controlled behaviour (Killeen PR, 1994, Behav. Brain Sci., 17:105-172) indicated that the antagonist reduced the incentive value of the reinforcer but did not affect the motor aspects of performance. The results are consistent with the notion that orexinergic neurotransmission mediated by OX1 receptor contributes to the regulation of the incentive value of reinforcers (Thompson and Borgland, 2011, Behav. Brain Res. 217:447-453).
Since completing my PhD in 2011, I have been working as a Research Associate at Cardiff University in the laboratory of the Professor J.P Aggleton. In this project (funded by the Wellcome Trust) we are investigating the neurobiological bases of familiarity and episodic memory, and the ways in which they are subserved by two related anatomical structures (perirhinal cortex and hippocampus, respectively).
I have a long-standing interest in psychopharmacology, the reward system and mnemonic processes which I hope I can apply, in the near future, to my current area of work, recognition memory. Cristian Manuel Olarte-Sanchez, Nottingham Univ (now based in Cardiff)
Effect of an orexin-1 receptor antagonist on progressive-ratio schedule performance: evidence for an involvement of orexin-1 receptors in the regulation of incentive value
Two Prizes are awarded to BAP Training Members at the annual Summer Meeting, reviewed by the BAP President and selected on the following criteria:
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