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Pathology of depression following traumatic brain injury

Trainee Achievements

Pathology of depression following traumatic brain injury

IGERT student Michelle Failla studies the pathology of depression following traumatic brain injury. By focusing on how genetic variability influences post-traumatic depression (PTD) risk, she and her colleagues have identified specific pathways related to PTD. Specifically, they have recently shown that genetic variation within the serotonin transporter might modulate a neurotrophin-dependent low serotonin state after brain injury that contributes to PTD risk through alterations in connectivity of fronto-limbic circuits. To evaluate this hypothesis, Failla is learning to employ advanced brain imaging techniques, including diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and tractography to measure structural connectivity, and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fcMRI) to measure functional connectivity. Failla recently attended an intensive seminar course in brain connectivity at the Martinos Imaging Center (Boson, MA) where she received personalized training in these techniques.