Prestigious grant provides opportunity to test new ideas on synapses and depression
Maria Lindskog, researchers at the Division of Translational Alzheimer Neurobiology, has received NARSAD Independent Investigator Grant 2016. The grant is awarded by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the largest US financier of research on mental illness.
Maria Lindskog´s overall research focus is synapses (which is the connection between neurons) and their ability to change, which she studies in order to understand the mechanisms behind behaviors and emotions. In Lindskog´s NARSAD Independent Investigator Grant project, she and her fellow researches will explore new ways to treat depression.
“It feels really good to receive this grant. It allows us to test new and innovative ideas on how synapses can be modulated, in order to come closer to new ways to treat depression. Since many of my role models within research have received a NARSAD Independent Investigator Grant, it feels great to share this experience with them”, says Maria Lindskog.
Description of the project
Maria Lindskog, Ph.D., Karolinska Institutet, will build on a new wave of depression treatment focusing on the antidepressant effects of an anesthetic drug, ketamine. Ketamine may produce antidepressant effects by altering the brain’s levels of the chemical glutamate. This work will investigate how inflammatory chemical signals that the body produces in response to stress affect glutamate levels throughout the brain. Dr. Lindskog predicts that a particular inflammatory signal acts on support cells in the brain that regulate glutamate levels. Testing this prediction will help determine whether this particular signaling can be targeted, in the body’s immune response system, to improve depression treatments.