Q: Are altered brain chemistry and metabolism key underlying features of neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia?
Q: Can we detect these neurochemical and neurometabolic alterations non-invasively?
Q: By studying and understanding these alterations, can we devise more effective treatments against neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders?
These are a few of the overarching questions that guide and motivate the research in Jamie Near's Lab. Yes, altered brain chemistry and metabolism are in fact key features of many neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions. And yes, we can quantify these changes non-invasively using in vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), a technique closely related to MRI.
Jamie’s research is focused on 1) developing new MRS techniques for characterizing brain chemistry and metabolism, and 2) applying these tools towards the study of mental health and brain disorders in both humans and rodent models of disease. The goal of Jamie's research is to develop a better understanding of the underlying neurochemistry of brain health and disease, leading to improved therapy and prevention of brain disorders.