Toward Rapid-Acting Treatments for OCD

Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Meet the Scientist - Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Increasing evidence indicates that glutamate plays a role in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptoms. Ketamine, which acts on brain glutamate receptors, has shown remarkable therapeutic effects in OCD; however, patients reported side effects including transient dissociation. The glutamate receptor modulator rapastinel may reduce symptoms of OCD without the dissociative side effects reported by patients treated with ketamine.

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Presented by 
Carolyn Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D.
Carolyn Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D.
Stanford University School of Medicine

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Director, Translational OCD Research Program

2014, 2009 Young Investigator Grant

Dr. Carolyn Rodriguez utilizes her training as a psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and clinical researcher to innovate rapid-acting treatments to relieve the suffering of patients with severe mental illnesses, including Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). She has led landmark clinical trials that pioneered new targeted treatments and investigated the role of glutamatergic and opioid pathways. As the Director of the Translational Therapeutics Lab and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Stanford, she developed methods that combine in vivo drug infusions with magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalograpy (EEG) to map human brain circuit dysfunction in real time. This experimental medicine approach is critical to understanding the brain basis of psychiatric illnesses and will transform mental health care.

Moderated by 
Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D.
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

President and CEO

Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., serves as the President & CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the largest private funder of mental health research grants. Dr. Borenstein developed the Emmy Award-nominated public television program “Healthy Minds,” and serves as host of the series. The program, which is broadcast nationwide, focuses on topics in psychiatry in order to educate the public, reduce stigma and offer a message of hope. Dr. Borenstein also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Psychiatric News, the newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association and as an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.