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J Psychiatry Brain Sci. 2020;5:e200008.


Introducing Journal of Psychiatry and Brain Science’s New Article Type: Grant Report

Elliot S. Gershon

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago, 5841 S. Maryland Ave. MC 3077, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

Received: 27 April 2020; Accepted: 27 April 2020; Published: 28 April 2020

It is a fact of our lives as researchers that a great deal of our creative intellectual activity goes into preparation of grant applications. Much of this effort develops new opportunities for progress in biomedical science, and new findings, but there is a long time lag between the time these ideas and data are developed, and the time they are published for the scientific community at large.

The Journal of Psychiatry and Brain Science believes that this time lag is unfortunate, and that it impedes progress. We have therefore created an opportunity for researchers to have peer-reviewed publication of their ideas and preliminary findings, in the hope this will stimulate their colleagues with similar interests, and spur their own creative efforts.

Our first effort has resulted in this Topical Collection on funded grants, which consists of papers based on proposals and progress reports. We believe this is a pioneering effort in medical science publication, and that it has been a success.

In 2020, the Grant report Collection has assembled 7 papers so far. Two papers are on opiate use disorders. Scherzer et al. [1] report on their device for Mobile Peer-Support for Opioid Use Disorders, a smartphone based system using text messages, and artificial intelligence applied to these messages to flag events that warrant clinical attention or intervention. Melnick et al. [2] report progress on EMBED: A Pragmatic Trial of User-Centered Clinical Decision Support to Implement EMergency Department-Initiated BuprenorphinE for opioid use disorder.

Psychosis disorders are addressed in 2 papers. Lewandowski et al. [3] study Neuroprogression across the Early Course of Psychosis. Studying first-episode psychosis patients, who are at high risk of developing chronic psychosis, they interrogate neurocognition, structural brain measures, and network connectivity at multiple assessments over the first eight years of illness to map neuroprogression trajectories, and examine trajectories as predictors of clinical and functional outcomes. Butler et al. [4] report progress on Social Reward Learning in Schizophrenia. A probabilistic reward learning (PRL) task in the MRI scanner evaluates reward learning to negative and positive social feedback. Monetary reward learning is used as a comparison.

Other disorders: Shankman et al. [5] summarize An Examination of Psychomotor Disturbance in Current and Remitted Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). One way to parse the heterogeneity of MDD is to investigate the role of particular features, which can also help identify novel and focal targets for treatment and prevention efforts. They focus on psychomotor agitation (PmA) and retardation (PmR)), particularly pernicious features of MDD. Premo et al. [6] report Pediatric Anxiety response to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), using brain imaging, behavioral performance measurements and clinical features to predict outcome.

Lastly, we have an epidemiological study of Racial Disparities in Pediatric Psychiatric Emergencies, based on Community Health Systems in the United States, by Das et al. [7]. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 supported rapid expansion, operation, and construction of community health centers throughout the US. One out of 15 persons in the US now gets their primary care through these centers. The question studied is whether this expansion has increased the previously very low rate of pediatric mental health care among racial minorities.

The clinical focus and intellectual diversity of this set of grants is commendable, and we are proud to publish these reports. The Journal has so far not published unfunded grant proposals. Some of these proposals, we understand, are not funded because they are too innovative; “not ready for prime time”. These proposals may be particularly deserving of publication, since the reasons for non-funding are often not reported by grants funders (such as NIH Study Sections in the US). Public criticism might give the ideas in these proposals public exposure and opportunity for improvement through the insights in the public critical responses. On the other hand, there could be a competitive disadvantage to publicizing a very “hot” idea. We would appreciate our readers’ thoughts on this.









How to Cite This Article

Gershon ES. Introducing Journal of Psychiatry and Brain Science’s New Article Type: Grant Report. J Psychiatry Brain Sci. 2020;5:e200008.

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