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The Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research

Neurochemistry

Laboratories

Smiley Lab

 
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Head of Lab

The primary specialization of Dr. Smiley's Laboratory of Neurochemical Anatomy is quantitative anatomical analyses to understand brain pathology. We are especially focused on psychiatric diseases, but have additional ongoing investigations of developmental toxicity, aging and dementia, and normal organization of the cerebral cortex.

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Our laboratory has a long-standing interest in understanding the neuropathology of schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and related psychiatric diseases. A major focus has been on application of quantitative anatomical methods to postmortem human cerebral cortex, including measurements of cortical volumes, thickness, cell number, cell size, and other features. Parallel studies have looked at normal cortical organization in humans and in animal models, with an emphasis on the connections and topographical features that might be altered in human diseases. More recently, we are extending our studies to animal models of brain development, to evaluate how early lesions influence the expression of psychiatric diseases, which often have their onset in adolescence or early adult ages.

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Current Investigations
  • Investigations of glial pathology in the cerebral cortex of subjects with major depressive disorder and schizophrenia.
  • Investigations of GABA cell changes in the cerebral cortex of subjects with major depressive disorder and schizophrenia.
  • Investigations of the fine structure of myelin axons in white matter of schizophrenia subjects.
  • Investigations fetal alcohol toxicity on the neuronal development of the cerebral cortex.
  • Changes in spine morphology and cholinergic cell number in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease.