Northwestern University

Thu 2:00 PM

A Neural Circuitry Substrate for Cognitive Dysfunction in Schizophrenia - David A. Lewis, MD

When: Thursday, September 20, 2018
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM  

Where: Robert H Lurie Medical Research Center, Baldwin Auditorium, 303 E. Superior, Chicago, IL 60611 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Michelle Mohney   312.503.5602

Group: Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment

Category: Lectures & Meetings


The Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine welcomes you to attend a lecture featuring:

David A. Lewis, MD
Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience
Thomas Detre Professor of Academic Psychiatry
Chair, Department of Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh
Medical Director and Director of Research
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC

Deficits in cognitive control, the ability to adjust thoughts or behaviors in order to achieve goals, are now considered to be a core feature of schizophrenia and to be the best predictor of long-term functional outcome. Cognitive control depends on the coordinated activity of a number of brain regions, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Subjects with schizophrenia exhibit altered activation of the DLPFC, and reduced power of frontal lobe gamma band (~40 Hz) oscillations, when performing tasks that require cognitive control. Gamma oscillations require robust activity in the reciprocal connections between the parvalbumin-containing basket cell class of cortical GABA neurons and neighboring pyramidal neurons. Thus, alterations in either the excitatory or inhibitory synapses in this circuit could contribute to impaired gamma oscillations and cognition in schizophrenia. This presentation will review the evidence for alterations in components of this circuit in the DLPFC of subjects with schizophrenia. Current findings converge on the hypothesis that the primary disturbances are in pyramidal neurons with the changes in parvalbumin neurons representing compensatory responses to maintain excitatory-inhibitory balance in DLPFC networks. In concert, the findings provide both a circuity-based explanation for gamma oscillations impairments and cognitive disturbances in schizophrenia and a possible mechanistic substrate for the emergence of psychosis.

Dr. Lewis is a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, the Thomas Detre Professor of Academic Psychiatry, the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, and Director of the Translational Neuroscience Program, University of Pittsburgh; and Medical Director and Director of Research, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC. He also serves as Director of an NIMH Conte Center for Translational Mental Health Research, which addresses the mechanisms linking the pathology, pathophysiology, and clinical features of schizophrenia. His clinical interests and research activities focus on the following three areas: 1) the neural circuitry of the prefrontal cortex and related brain regions and the alterations of this circuitry in schizophrenia; 2) the postnatal development of prefrontal cortical circuitry, with special emphasis on maturational events during adolescence; and 3) the influence of cannabis use during adolescence of these neural circuits.

Dr. Lewis received his medical degree from Ohio State University, completed residencies in both internal medicine and psychiatry at the University of Iowa, and received his research training at the Research Institute of the Scripps Clinic. His research findings have been published in more than 480 scientific articles. Dr. Lewis serves as Deputy Editor of both The American Journal of Psychiatry and Neurobiology of Disease. Recognition of Dr. Lewis’ research accomplishments has included the Lieber Prize for Schizophrenia Research from NARSAD, the William K. Warren Award from the International Congress of Schizophrenia Research, Stanley Dean Research Award from the American College of Psychiatrists, the American Psychiatric Association’s Research Award, and NIMH Senior Scientist and MERIT Awards. In addition, he has twice received the APIRE/Kempf award for mentorship from the American Psychiatric Association. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and of the Association of American Physicians, and he currently serves on the Scientific Councils for the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation and the Simons Foundation. He previously served as a member of the National Advisory Mental Health Council and as President of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

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