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Episodes: 31 & 32 | Biomarkers of Accelerated Aging in Severe Mental Illness - With Dr. Lisa Eyler (Parts 1 and 2)

Episode 31 Description: Severe mental illness (SMI) refers to mental disorders that result in significant functional impairment (e.g., schizophrenia and bipolar disorder).  In this episode, we bring you Part 1 of our conversation with Lisa Eyler, Ph.D., about inflammation in individuals with SMI, how inflammation is associated with accelerated aging and other health problems, and the clinical utility of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in this population.  We also contrast the approaches of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition (DSM-5) and the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC).

Episode 32 Description: Today we bring you the second part of our conversation with Lisa Eyler, Ph.D., on age-related changes in the functional connectivity of individuals with severe mental illness (SMI).  Dr. Eyler also summarizes the literature on the biomarkers of SMI in accelerated aging and the clinical utility of these biomarkers independently and in combination with behavioral strategies.  After the conversation, we provide our own commentary and discuss the use of biomarkers in clinical practice.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the nature of accelerated aging in severe mental illness (SMI).
  2. Explain proposed models of the relationships between genetic profiles, immune functioning, psychiatric symptoms, and physical co-morbidities (e.g., cardiovascular, metabolic) in SMI.
  3. Discuss the basic function and utility of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) for research and clinical purposes, generally, and when applied to functional connectivity and aging more specifically.
  4. List some caveats that should be accounted for when interpreting results of fMRI research findings.
  5. Describe the evidence for biomarkers of aging (e.g., oxidative stress, telomere length, functional connectivity) in severe mental illness (SMI).
  6. Explain the “whole body approach” to SMI.