The Reciprocal Relationship of Neurocognitive and Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Late Life Mental Health Disorders
Dr. Ruth O'Hara is Senior Associate Dean for Research, Stanford School of Medicine, Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Director, Translational Research Core of the Veterans Affairs Sierra-Pacific Mental Illness Research Education & Clinical Center (MIRECC). The core of her research investigates how cognitive information processing deficits subserve affective symptoms in psychiatric disorders, and interact with key brain networks integral to these disorders. Dr. O'Hara's research suggests that cognitive information processing dysfunctions impact a patient's ability to engage effectively in treatment, persist in the face of symptomatically effective treatment, and are poorly targeted by current treatments. Her body of research has played a key role in shifting the paradigm to defining, assessing and targeting psychiatric disorders more fully based on their cognitive information processing deficits, and underlying neurocircuitry. She has implemented a translational, interdisciplinary program that encompasses cellular models, brain (sleep, neuroimaging) and behavioral assays of affective and cognitive information processing systems in psychiatric disorders.