Professor of Psychobiology in the Department of Psychiatry
Chair, Division of Neurochemistry
Dr. Madras and her colleagues in the Division of Neurochemistry investigate
the biology of neuropsychiatric disorders. Complementary research develops
novel imaging strategies to view the implicated molecular substrates in
living brain and devises novel drug therapies to provide symptomatic relief.
Cocaine addiction: Research is designed to clarify the neurobiological
substrates of cocaine in the brain, neuroadaptive changes that may contribute
to addiction or relapse and to develop medications for cocaine addiction.
Molecular approaches are coordinated with behavioral and PET imaging procedures
conducted in nonhuman primates.
Parkinson's disease. In view of the limitations of current therapies
to treat Parkinson's disease, we design and assess novel medications to
treat Parkinson's disease and novel imaging agents to identify populations
that may benefit from neuroprotective and neuroregenerative interventions.
Gene array analysis is applied to expose potential therapeutic targets
identified as genes initiating or sustaining spontaneous regeneration in
a nonhuman primate model of Parkinson's disease.
ADHD. The pathophysiology of ADHD is poorly understood and anti-hyperactivity
medications are prescribed in the absence of biological criteria. A coordinated
research program is designed to investigate the molecular targets of anti-hyperactivity
medications and develop novel compounds to treat ADHD.
Nonhuman primate genotyping. Single nucleotide polymorphisms
and other variants of genes encoding psychoactive drug targets have been
identified in human gene sequences. Their emerging relevance to neuropsychiatric
disease states, differing susceptibilities to drug addiction and drug responsiveness,
encouraged the search for analogous gene sequences in nonhuman primates,
with a view to clarifying their functional relevance and potential as disease
Fischman AJ, Bonab AA, Babich JW, Palmer P, Alpert NM, Elmaleh DR, Barrow
SA, Graham W, Meltzer PC, Hanson RH, Madras BK. Rapid detection of Parkinson's
disease with altropane, a SPECT ligand. Synapse, 29:128-141, 1998.
Dougherty, DD, Bonab AA, Spencer TJ, Rauch SL, Madras, BK, Fischman
AJ. Dopamine transporter density is patients with attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder. Lancet, 354:2132-2133, 1999.
Goulet M, and Madras BK. D1 dopamine agonists are more effective in
advanced than in mild Parkinsonism in MPTP-treated monkeys. J. Pharmacol.
Exp. Ther., 292:714-724, 2000.
Miller GM, De La Garza, R. Novak MA, Madras BK. Single nucleotide polymorphisms
distinguish multiple dopamine transporter alleles in primates; implications
for association with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other
neuropsychiatric disorders. Mol. Psychiat., 6: 50-58, 2001.