Providence VA Medical Center, Rhode Island
Focus Area 2
Restoring Affective and Cognitive Health
Director: Benjamin Greenberg, MD, PhD
Noah Philip, MD
M.Tracie Shea, PhD
Examples of FA-2 research include:
PTSD. Effective behavioral therapies for PTSD are thought to rely on fear extinction; CfNN-supported research suggests that tDCS targeting relevant brain circuitry enhances the extinction of conditioned fear in healthy individuals (Van't Wout et al., 2016).
Depression. CfNN’s ongoing work on therapeutic TMS in depression + PTSD suggests that a lower frequency (5Hz) TMS regimen is therapeutically effective. New mechanistic research led by Dr. Philip and supported by his CDA2 and CfNN suggests that the antidepressant response to TMS can in part be predicted by specific patterns in brain network connectivity before treatment.
Pain. This line of CfNN research has complementary directions: 1) studies of the emotional (affective) component of chronic pain, a clinical feature which magnifies pain-related disability, and 2) studies of acute pain-related distress and how brain mechanisms relate to the ability to direct attention away from acute or chronic pain perception. A published preliminary study, led by a CfNN-associated psychiatry resident trainee, suggested that acute tDCS targeting dorsal anterior cingulate cortex might improve the ability to tolerate distress related to pain (Mariano et al., 2015).