Funding! CSR&D Merit Review Award for Clinical Trials (I01)

Congratulations to the lab for being funded by the CSR&D Merit Review Award!

A pharmaco-imaging approach to predicting social functioning and clinical responses to oxytocin administration in schizophrenia

PI: Woolley, Joshua M.D., Ph.D


Schizophrenia has a devastating and disproportionate effect on veterans compared to the general US population. Some of the most disabling symptoms, such as low motivation, difficulty expressing emotions, and decreased ability to infer the mental states of others, cause poor social functioning. This means that veterans with schizophrenia have trouble navigating interpersonal interactions and building meaningful relationships in the community. Unfortunately, current antipsychotic medications typically only improve positive symptoms but fail to improve social functioning deficits, which are strong predictors of poor quality of life and functional outcomes. Oxytocin, a peptide found in the brain, plays an important role in social behavior and is known to moderate affiliation, stress, and learning across taxa. In this study, we will test whether oxytocin could be an effective treatment for social functioning deficits in schizophrenia. We will examine changes in brain activation to understand how oxytocin affects behavior and to predict which individuals may benefit from oxytocin treatment.

IRB Approval: April 2019

Current Status: Seeking BUA (Biological Use Authorization) Approval

Stay tuned for updates!