Chronic Hypoxia Exposure Worsens Depression

University of Utah Health investigator Perry Renshaw, MD, PhD, and colleagues combine epidemiology, animal models, and human neuroimaging to study how impaired brain bioenergetics affect psychiatric disorders. They first reported a link between altitude and suicide in the U.S., a finding since replicated in three other continents. Continue reading → Chronic Hypoxia Exposure Worsens Depression

Research Statement

In vivo neurochemical changes associated with mood and drug abuse disorders; natural products as novel treatments

Perry Renshaw received his M.D. and Ph.D. (biophysics) degrees from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine before completing his residency in Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital in 1992. From 1992-2008, Dr. Renshaw was Research Director and then Director of the McLean Hospital Brain Imaging Center in Belmont, MA. He was also on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, where he became a Professor of Psychiatry in 2003. Dr. Renshaw’s research program has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1994. His work is centered on the use of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to identify changes in brain chemistry that are associated with mood and substance abuse disorders. These observations are used to identify novel therapies.

Current clinical/MRS trials are focused on the use of citicoline as a treatment for methamphetamine dependence, creatine as a treatment for depression, and uridine as a treatment for bipolar disorder. In addition, the Renshaw laboratory is exploring the surprisingly strong association between suicide rates and altitude of residence. The underlying hypothesis is that brain metabolic changes associated with altitude increase the prevalence and severity of mood disorders.