Counselor talking to a teen

Privacy Policy

This privacy notice discloses the privacy practices for Neurobehavioral Research Laboratory and Clinic (NRLC). This privacy notice applies solely to information collected by this website. It will notify you of the following:

  1. What personally identifiable information is collected from you through the website, how it is used and with whom it may be shared.
  2. What choices are available to you regarding the use of your data.
  3. The security procedures in place to protect the misuse of your information.
  4. How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information.

Information Collection, Use, and Sharing

We are the sole owners of the information collected on this site. We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. We will not share your information with any third party outside of our organization, other than as necessary to fulfill your request, e.g. to ship an order.

Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about specials, new products or services, or changes to this privacy policy.

Your Access to and Control Over Information

You may opt out of any future contacts from us at any time. You can do the following at any time by contacting us via the email address or phone number given on our website:

Security

We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline.

Wherever we collect sensitive information (such as credit card data), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a lock icon in the address bar and looking for "https" at the beginning of the address of the Web page.

While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.

Cookies

We use "cookies" on this site. A cookie is a piece of data stored on a site visitor's hard drive to help us improve your access to our site and identify repeat visitors to our site. For instance, when we use a cookie to identify you, you would not have to log in a password more than once, thereby saving time while on our site. Cookies can also enable us to track and target the interests of our users to enhance the experience on our site. Usage of a cookie is in no way linked to any personally identifiable information on our site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies.

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately via telephone at (866) 201-3034 or via email.

NRLC Research

Leveraging Transdermal Alcohol Monitoring to Reduce Drinking among DWI Defendants (SCRAM2)

If you have recently been arrested for driving after drinking alcohol and live in the San Antonio area, you may be eligible to take part in a research study.  This study is for adults who have been arrested for alcohol-driving charges including driving while intoxicated or obstruction of highway.  This study is designed to determine the success in reducing drinking when given an incentive (like money) while wearing an alcohol detection monitor. Participation is voluntary and you will be compensated for your participation.

To find out if you might qualify, call to complete a brief, confidential prescreening at (210) 567-2752

Consequences of Substance Use on the Development of Impulse Control (SUI2)

The SUI2 study is an ongoing investigation into how various psychological, physiological, and environmental factors interact to put someone at risk for substance use and substance use disorders throughout the course of adolescence into young adulthood. Since 2010, parents and their children from the San Antonio community have taken part in our study.

While the SUI study is no longer recruiting participants, we have several volunteers who help us with various tasks. If you are interested in volunteering with the SUI study, please see our “Careers and Training” page for contact information.

Careers & Training

The Neurobehavioral Research Laboratory and Clinic provides career development and training for students at all levels. Many of our former trainee's have gone on to successful post-secondary education programs and continue their careers in human health research or healthcare.

The NRLC provides a fertile ground for career development because of the diversity of patient populations and research tools students are exposed to and because of our strong interest in mentorship. The following is a description of opportunities that are available.

Research Career Opportunities

The NRLC is a great place to start a research career. As a research assistant at the NRLC, you obtain hands on experience in conducting human psychophysiological experiments. Many of our research assistants use their time at the NRLC as a launching point for further education in biomedical fields. Some of our past research assistants have gone on to graduate school in Neuropsychology, Physician Assistant studies, and Medical School.

Postdoctoral Fellowship - Substance Use Research

We are in search of motivated individuals with an exemplary research background to join a team of researchers conducting multi-disciplinary research in the area of substance abuse. We are conducting a diverse array of translational substance abuse research projects ranging from adolescent longitudinal development of substance use involvement to adult alcohol treatment outcome research in a criminal justice setting. Our approach to postdoctoral training typically involves interaction with a multidisciplinary team of investigators, including Drs. Donald Dougherty, Nathalie Hill-Kapturczak, Tara Karns-Wright, and Charles Mathias. Depending on the applicant's career goals, areas of training include: behavioral pharmacology, clinical intervention, biochemistry, personality, and statistics. Additionally, this training environment is strengthened through collaboration our local NIDA T32 program substance abuse research (PI: Dr. Charles France). The fellow will be provided active research mentoring and be engaged in manuscript and grant writing. Responsibilities include study coordination and supervision of study personnel, participant recruitment, screening, psychological testing, statistical analyses, and manuscript/grant preparation. Applicants must have completed a Ph.D. in in a relevant discipline. Multiple-year appointments are available and dependent on satisfactory performance. Candidates should send their curriculum vitae, a letter outlining interests and career goals, and representative publication reprints. Materials can be sent by email or by mail to:

Donald M. Dougherty
Department of Psychiatry, MC 7793
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900

All postdoctoral appointments are designated as security sensitive positions. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer including protected veterans and persons with disabilities.

Volunteer Positions

For a listing of volunteer opportunities, please contact the NRLC.

Student Opportunities

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) invites high school and undergraduate students to submit applications for the 2018 Summer Research Program. Under this program students underrepresented in the biomedical, social, clinical and behavioral sciences are paired with NIDA funded scientists at research institutions across the United States for 8-10 weeks during the summer to work in the field of substance abuse and addiction research. Internships may involve a variety of experiences including laboratory experiments, data collection, data analysis, patient interviews, and literature reviews. Student interns receive a stipend, and if necessary and eligible, provisions for travel and housing expenses.

The NRLC frequently has opportunities for high school and undergraduate students to gain experience in human psychological and biological research. In addition, graduate and medical students have opportunity to complete research rotations at the NRLC. Please contact the NRLC to learn more about training opportunities.For undergraduate students interested in neuroscience research, we also recommend the South Texas Advanced Research Training Undergraduate Program (START-UP) hosted by the Graduate School of BioMedical Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Participate in Research

The NRLC is looking to recruit participants in our intervention study of changes in alcohol use over time.

If you have recently been arrested for driving after drinking alcohol and live in the San Antonio area, you may be eligible to take part in a research study.  This study is for adults who have been arrested for alcohol-driving charges including driving while intoxicated or obstruction of highway.  This study is designed to determine the success in reducing drinking when given an incentive (like money) while wearing an alcohol detection monitor.  Participation is voluntary and you will be compensated for your participation. 

To find out if you might qualify, call to complete a brief, confidential prescreening at (210) 567-2752

Links

History of Neurobehavioral Research Laboratory and Clinic (NRLC)

NRLC building and history

The NRLC was formed by Dr. Donald Dougherty, initially focusing on aggressive and impulsive behaviors at the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston. This work was fostered by collaboration with Drs. Alan Swann, F. Gerard Moeller, Joel Steinberg, and Ernest Barratt. During Dr. Dougherty's time in Houston he recruited two student, Drs. Charles Mathias and Dawn Richard, who have been core member of the group ever since. These three faculty developed and programmed the software for assessment of behavioral impulsivity.

After 10 years in Houston, the NRLC relocated their facilities to Winston-Salem, NC and joined the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Wake Forest University Health Sciences. During that time to group initiated a longitudinal research program assessing the development of impulse control, substance abuse, and suicidal behaviors among teens. Core collaborations were developed with Drs. R. Michael Furr, Terry Blumenthal, and Anthony Liguori.

In 2007 then NRLC was recruited to the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. Core membership grew during this time to include Drs. Ashley Acheson and Natalie Hill-Kapturczak. Collaborations also grew to include senior members of the department psychiatry; Drs. Richard Lamb, Marty Javors, and Burl Davis. In 2010 the NRLC became the Division of Neurobehavioral Research within Department of Psychiatry, whose mission includes excellence in research, clinical care, education, administration, and service.

NRLC Social Media

The Neurobehavioral Research Laboratory and Clinic (NRLC) maintains this website and participates in a variety of social media to advance our mission. The following provides some detail of these activities.

Website

In additional to our division website on the UTHSCSA domain, we maintain this website to:

The website was designed by CC Communications and is maintained by Charles Mathias.

Logo

The NRLC logo was designed to represent our multi-disciplinary, translational approach to research. The three primary elements are the head, the axon, and the green background. The blue head and white/blue axon represent the brain and our study of the biological basis for behavior as well as the target for pharmacological interventions. The green background represents the environmental. The environment influences the behaviors that we study and provides a context for interpreting these behaviors. The environment also represents the context within which our community efforts occur to prevent substance use involvement. The NRLC uses an integrated approach to each of these elements in order to advancing our efforts at the understanding, treatment, and prevention of mental health issues.

Dotted Quad

76.12.140.65

YouTube

Subscribe to NRLC's YouTube Channel

Comment Policy

We utilize a variety of social media sites to pursue the mission of the Division of Neurobehavioral Research. Some of these sites have features allowing for commenting on our posted materials. The following is our policy on commenting, which has been adapted from the policy published by the Mayo Clinic.

We encourage your comments, and hope the discussions prove beneficial for all parties. While we are unable to respond to every comment, we make an effort to review all posted comments. We also expect a basic level of civility; disagreements are fine, but mutual respect is a must, and profanity or abusive language are out-of-bounds.

By posting any comments, posts or other material on NRLC sites, you give the NRLC the irrevocable right to reproduce, distribute, publish, display, edit, modify, create derivative works from, and otherwise use your submission for any purpose in any form and on any media.

You also agree that you will not:

  1. Post material that infringes on the rights of any third party, including intellectual property, privacy or publicity rights.
  2. Post material that is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, abusive, slanderous, hateful, or embarrassing to any other person or entity as determined by the NRLC in its sole discretion.
  3. Post advertisements or solicitations of business.
  4. Post chain letters or pyramid schemes.
  5. Impersonate another person.
  6. Allow any other person or entity to use your identification for posting or viewing comments.
  7. Post the same note multiple times or "spam."

The NRLC reserves the right (but is not obligated) to do any or all of the following:

  1. Remove communications that are abusive, illegal or disruptive, or that otherwise fail to conform with this policy.
  2. Terminate a user's access to the feature upon any breach of these Terms and Conditions.
  3. Edit or delete any posted communications, regardless of whether such communications violate these standards.

Finally, you agree that you will indemnify the NRLC against any damages, losses, liabilities, judgments, costs or expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees and costs) arising out of a claim by a third party relating to any material you have posted.

Our Philosophy

Mission

Our mission is to ease suffering caused by mental illness through excellence in research, treatment, education, administration, and service.

In particular our goal is to advance human mental health with regard to the following behaviors and conditions:

The Neurobehavioral Research Laboratory and Clinic (NRLC) is primarily focused on examining impulsive behavior across distinct clinical populations.

The NRLC is a team of scientists developing empirically-based preventive interventions for substance use disorders. This scope of this problem requires a holistic approach, which is why our team has incorporated a variety of expertise ranging from basic research to applied sciences to study process of cognition, biological function, and environment. The purpose of studying these processes is to determine how an individual's unique personal characteristics act to either promote or protect them from development of substance use disorders and the frequent co-occurrence of suicidal behaviors. Currently, our research with at-risk children focuses on how processes that we have identified as being clinically related to substance use disorders and suicidal behaviors develop across the critical period of adolescence. In particular, we are seeking to determine:

Our ultimate goal is to use empirically-derived knowledge to develop preventive and treatment interventions for specific groups of youths with drug-use behaviors. We believe that the type and extent of interventions can be appropriately selected through the systematic consideration of risk factors during adolescent development. More specifically, what we learn clinically from conducting prevention trials in the community will provide information to guide our basic-science investigations. In turn, evidence-based results from these prevention trials will then be used to guide testing and further refinement of increasingly more effective preventive and treatment interventions. In summary, through scientific study of community-based interventions we will not only be able to impact the health and welfare of at-risk youth in the local community; we also will be able to develop more effective interventions that can be adopted nationally.

Alcohol Binge Drinking

Binge drinking as a pattern of alcohol consumption that involves rapidly drinking alcohol to the point of intoxication (and beyond) separated by periods of abstinence or lower levels of drinking.

Typical guidelines describing binge drinking at least 4 standard alcohol drinks for women or 5 drinks for men within a 2 hour period.

What is a "standard" drink?

Examples of "standard" drink include:

While many people have seen these examples of a standard drink before, it is easy to underestimate your level of alcohol consumption because of the size of modern alcohol beverages served and the alcohol content of these beverages.

Things to consider in judging the amount of alcohol you are drinking:

Isn't Binge drinking just a normal college behavior?

Binge drinking is sometimes perceived as "normal" because it can be relatively common in certain social settings. Binge drinking is not limited to college settings.

What is so bad about binge drinking anyway, it's not like I drink every day? Just Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Binge drinking accounts for more alcohol related deaths than all other patters of alcohol use.

What is considered a "safe" or "healthy" amount of alcohol to drink.

Large scale studies considering both the health risks and benefits of alcohol consumption tend to find that about 1 standard drink per day is the maximum amount a healthy adult may drink. However, your own safe level of drinking may be less than this or to not drink alcohol at all, depending on your unique health background, social circumstance, and set of risk/protective factors.

I can drink 5 drinks without feeling the effects, that means my "safe" level of drinking is higher than 1 drink right?

Wrong. If you are not able to perceive changes in how you feel after consuming 5 drinks in a short period of time, you likely have developed what doctors call tolerance. Tolerance is your body's way of adapting to your pattern of alcohol intake. While tolerance may result in you needing larger and larger quantities to feel the euphoric or intoxicating feelings of alcohol, you still may be experience problems with motor coordination at lower levels (prior to feeling buzzed). Because of this, you should not base your decision to operate a motor vehicle based on how “buzzed” you feel, consider the amount you have been drinking and in what time period.

Links

Adolescentes en riesgo de problemas por consumo de drogas

Artículo en Ingles

Los adolescentes cuyos padres eran adictos a las drogas o alcohol están en riesgo de convertirse en adictos. Se calcula que la mitad de este riesgo es genético, incluso los hijos que han estado en contacto con algún padre biológico adicto está en mayor riesgo. Sólo porque un adolescente este genéticamente en riesgo de adicción no significa que se convierta en adicto, solo que es más vulnerable a otros factores que también aumentan el riesgo de adicción. Estos otros factores de riesgo incluyen trastornos mentales tales como trastorno por déficit de atención con hiperactividad o trastornos de conducta, altos niveles de estrés tales como el abuso o pobreza, y de la exposición al uso de drogas en sus compañeros, amigos y familiares.

Imagine un adolescente que crece y evitar la adicción es como caminar sobre un sendero resbaloso sin tropezones y caídas. Tener un riesgo de adicción genético es un poco más tardo que el promedio pero no significa, necesariamente, que se caerá. Tener otros factores de riesgo tales como trastornos mentales sin tratamiento, estrés, o la exposición a drogas es como poner hielo o nieve en el camino resbaloso. Por lo tanto, cuando una persona que es un poco tosca camina por un sendero con resbaladizas, es más probable que tropiece y se caiga.

¿Cuáles son las señales cuando un adolescente tiene problemas con drogas o alcohol?

¿Qué puede hacer usted como padre o madre?

Teen Risk for Development of Drug Use

Article in Spanish

Adolescents whose parents were addicted to drugs or alcohol are at risk for becoming addicted themselves. It is estimated that half of this risk is genetic, so even children who’ve had no contact with an addicted biological parent are still at increased risk. Just because an adolescent is genetically at risk for addiction doesn’t mean they will become addicted, just that they are more vulnerable to other factors that also increase risk for addiction. These other risk factors include untreated mental disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or conduct disorder, high stress such as abuse or poverty, and exposure to drug use in peers, friends, and family members.

Imagine an adolescent growing up and avoiding addiction is like walking on a rough trail without tripping and falling. Having a genetic risk for addiction is like being a bit more clumsy than the average person but doesn’t necessarily mean they will fall. Having other risk factors such as untreated mental disorders, high stress, or exposure to drug use is like putting ice or sleet on a rough trail. So, when a person who’s a bit clumsy is walking on a rough trail that’s also slippery, they are more likely to trip and fall.

What are signs an adolescent has a drug or alcohol problem?

What can you do as a parent?

In addition to your child's doctor, where can you go for help?

In the greater San Antonio area:

Educational Videos on Drugs and Children

Links

Suicidio en Adolescentes

Artículo en Ingles

¿Cuál es el grado del problema?

El informe de los centros para el control y prevención de enfermedades (CDC) que el suicidio es la 4ta causa de la muerte más común entre 10-14 años, y es la 3ro causa de la muerte más común entre 15-24 años.

Y la CDC divulga que entre 7-9% de más viejos adolescentes intente el suicidio. Las tentativas del suicidio son la razón más común de visitas de sala de urgencias psiquiátricas adolescentes. Las muchachas hispánicas adolescentes tienen los índices más altos de todos los grupos de attempters del suicidio y Tejas tiene divulgado las tentativas para este grupo que ésas divulgadas nacionalmente.

En fin, cuando viene al suicidio adolescente, las estadísticas hacen claro que el suicidio frustrado es una gran cosa, porque los efectos humanos del comportamiento suicida producen carga significativa no sólo a los proveedores de asistencia sanitaria, pero también al adolescente individual, a su familia, y a sus amigos.

¿Cuáles son las muestras que su adolescente puede intentar suicidio?

Es importante realizar que hay muestras o los factores de riesgo que predicen a menudo comportamiento suicida, e identificando estas muestras, la tragedia del suicidio adolescente puede ser prevenida a menudo. Como padres, es importante ser consciente de estas muestras. Uno de los problemas para los padres es que algunas de estas muestras se pueden confundir desde comportamiento adolescente normal. Los siguientes son ejemplos de las muestras que la tentativa del suicidio puede ocurrir pronto:

Gravamen, remisión, tratamiento, & Prevención

Es importante identificar las muestras antedichas, de ayudar a evitar que el suicidio suceda. Es el mejor conseguir ayuda profesional para prevenir suicidio adolescente. Si usted se refiere sobre su adolescente, hable con su child’ doctor de s o un profesional de salud mental calificado, mirando donde referir a su niño para el tratamiento. Por ejemplo, las opciones de la remisión incluirían el asesoramiento, la hospitalización, y/o la medicación. El asesoramiento puede ser para el adolescente individualmente, o junto como familia. La meta es ayudar a su adolescente para hacer frente a vida, y para manejar los problemas, en vez de la matanza ellos mismos. La hospitalización psiquiátrica es a menudo necesaria por las adolescencias que tienen muchas de las muestras que el suicidio puede ocurrir muy pronto. En un hospital psiquiátrico, el adolescente se supervisa constantemente, para prevenir una tentativa del suicidio. Allí, también reciben un asesoramiento más intensivo para prevenir el suicidio que es típico para el cuidado de paciente no internado. También, las medicaciones están disponibles para el tratamiento de la depresión y de comportamientos suicidas

Además del médico de su hijo, ¿dónde puede buscar ayuda?

Telefonos directos de San Antonio:

Telefonos directos nacionales:

Los Sitios Web

Suicide in Adolescents

Article in Spanish

What is the extent of the problem?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that suicide is the 4th most common cause of death among 10-14 year olds, and is the 3rd most common cause of death among 15-24 year olds.

And the CDC reports that between 7-9% of older adolescents attempt suicide. Suicide attempts are the most common reason for adolescent psychiatric emergency room visits. Teenage Hispanic girls have the highest rates of all groups of suicide attempters and Texas has more reported attempts for this group than those reported nationally.

In short, when it comes to teen suicide, the statistics make it clear that attempted suicide is a big deal, because the human effects of suicidal behavior produce significant burden not only to health care providers, but also to the individual teen, their family, and their friends.

What are the signs that your teen may attempt suicide?

It is important to realize that there are signs or risk factors that often predict suicidal behavior, and by identifying these signs, the tragedy of teen suicide can often be prevented. As parents, it is important to be aware of these signs. One of the problems for parents is that some of these signs can be mistaken for normal adolescent behavior. The following are examples of signs that suicide attempt may occur soon:

Warning Signs of Suicide

Assessment, Referral, Treatment, & Prevention

It is important to identify the above signs, to help prevent suicide from happening.

It is best to get professional help to prevent teen suicide. If you are concerned about your teen, talk to your child’s doctor or a qualified mental health professional, regarding where to refer your child for treatment. For example, referral options would include counseling, hospitalization, and/or medication. Counseling can be for the teen individually, or together as a family. The goal is to help your teen to cope with life, and to handle problems, instead of killing themselves. Psychiatric hospitalization is often needed for teens who have many of the signs that suicide may occur very soon. In a psychiatric hospital, the teen is monitored constantly, to prevent a suicide attempt. There, they also receive more intensive counseling to prevent suicide that is typical for outpatient care. Also, medications are available for the treatment of depression and suicidal behaviors.

In addition to your child’s doctor, where can you go for help?

San Antonio Hotlines

National Hotlines

Treatment options in the San Antonio area

Educational Multimedia

Links

National Hotlines

Advocacy

Education and Information

Resources

Trastorno por Deficit de Atencion / Hiperactividad (TDA/A)

Artículo en Ingles

¿Que es el desorden del trastorno por déficit de atención/hiperactividad?

Desorden del Transtorno por Deficit de Atencion/Hiperactividad o TDAH es un patrón de falta de atención y/o hiperactividad/impulsividad que deteriora la vida de una persona con familia, amigos, escuela y/o trabajo.

Los síntomas de TDA/H incluyen:

No es necessario que una persona presenta todos estas sintomas para tener TDA/H, sino que tendrán varios y los experimente más seriamente que se espera para los individuos en su nivel de desarrollo.

¿Que tan común es el TDA/H?

¿Cuáles son los tratamientos comunes para TDA/H?

¿Cuáles son algunas cosas que las familias pueden hacer en el país para aumentar el éxito de niños con ADHD?

¿Además del médico de su hijo, dónde se puede ir para recibir ayuda?

Links

ADHD

Article in Spanish

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity that impairs a person's life with family, friends, school, and/or work.

Symptoms of ADHD include:

A person with ADHD may not have all of these symptoms, but they will have several and experience them more severely than is expected for individuals at their developmental level.

How common is ADHD?

What are the common treatments for ADHD?

What are some things families can do at home to increase the success of children with ADHD?

In addition to your child's doctor, where can you go for help?

In San Antonio, TX

Videos on ADHD

Links

Desorden de Conducto

Artículo en Ingles

¿Qué es Desorden de Conducto?

El Desorden del conducto es una pauta de conducta que implica infracción de los derechos fundamentales de otros o de normas sociales (comenzando antes de los 18 anos).

Muchos de los síntomas del Desorden del Conducto son cosas que tienden a conseguir el niño en problemas con la ley.

Síntomas de Desorden de Conducto incluyen:

Un individuo no tiene que tener todo que estos síntomas para tener Desorden de Conducto, pero tienen suficientes síntomas que estan causando el deterioro individual con la familia, los amigos, la escuela, y/o el trabajo.

¿Cuán común es Desorden de Conducto?

¿Cuales son los tratamientos comunes para el Desorden de Conducto?

¿Cuales son algunas cosas que las familias pueden hacer en casa para aumentar el éxito de niños con ADHD?

¿Además de su médico, donde puede dirigirse para obtener ayuda?

En el área metropolitana de San Antonio:

Los Sitios Web

Conduct Disorder

Article in Spanish

What is Conduct Disorder?

Conduct disorder is a pattern of behavior that involves violation of the basic rights of others or societal norms, and begins before age 18. Many of the Conduct Disorder symptoms are behaviors that harm others and get the child in trouble with the law.

Conduct disorder symptoms include:

A child with Conduct disorder, has had three or more persistent symptoms that cause problems for their family, peers, school, and/or work.

How common is Conduct Disorder?

What are the common treatments for Conduct Disorder?

What are some things families can do at home to increase the success of children with ADHD?

In addition to your child's doctor, where can you go for help?

In the greater San Antonio area:

Links

Recursos de Salud

Artículo en Inglés

Servicios de Tratamiento

Tratamiento de Motivación sobre el uso de alcohol en carreteras (MATTERS)

CAMBIO logo

El propósito del programa MATTERS es ofrecer servicios para adultos con arrestos de DWI o DUI.

El tratamiento se ofrece sin costo a adultos con DWI para reducir su consumo de alcohol.

Los servicios de tratamiento incluyen: evaluación de riesgos, estimulo motivacional, control de contingencia, terapia individual y monitoreo de alcohol.

Para saber si usted califica para servicios de tratamiento a través del programa MATTERS, por favor llame al (210) 567-2751. Todas las llamadas son confidenciales.

Todos los servicios son proporcionados sin costo alguno.

CAMBIO: Programa de Tratamiento de Abuso de Drogas para Adolescentes

CAMBIO logo

El programa CAMBIO ofrece tratamiento a adolescentes con problemas de marihuana, alcohol u otras drogas.

El tratamiento incluye un programa de 10 sesiones para adolescentes de 12-18 con uso de substancias como el alcohol, la marihuana o substancias relacionadas con problemas con sus padres. Esto implica sesiones individuales semanales para el adolescente y sus padres o guardianes.

Este programa proporciona un diagnóstico integral y una evaluación de necesidades y fortalezas del niño y su familia.

Si usted o alguien conoce a un adolecente y está interesado en conocer más sobre el programa porfavor contáctenos: (210) 567-2750. Toda llamada es confidencial.

Todos los servicios son proporcionados sin costo alguno.

Educación para la salud

El NRLC conduce programas educativos y de capacitación en relación a temas de salud mental a los cuales nos dedicamos.

Estamos empezando a recolectar un directorio con información para interesados en internet.

A continuación una lista de algunos de nuestros recursos de salud:

Si usted está interesado en ser miembro del NRLC hable con su grupo sobre alguno de estos temas de salud u otro tema similar y por favor contáctenos.

Treatment & Research

Article in Spanish

Treatment Services

Motivational Alcohol Treatment to Enhance Roadway Safety (MATTERS)

CAMBIO logo

The MATTERS program provides treatment to adults who have experienced alcohol-related driving offenses (e.g. DWI or DUI).

Treatment is delivered at no cost to adults with DWI's to reduce harmful alcohol use.

Treatment services include: risk assessment, motivational enhancement, contingency management, individual therapy, and alcohol monitoring.

To find out if you might qualify for treatment services through the MATTERS program, please call (210) 567-2752. All calls are confidential.

All services are FREE of charge.

Health Education

The NRLC routinely conducts educational and training programs pertinent to the mental health topics that we have expertise in.

We are starting to compile a directory of this information for our internet audience.

The following lists some of our health resources:

If you are interested in having a member of the NRLC speak to your group on one of these or similar health topics please contact us.

Body Mass Index Calculator

Use the calculator below to calculate Body Mass Index for adults ages 20 to 65 years of age.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.

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normal
Normal Weight
overweight
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obese
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*BMI categories may over or underestimate true body mass proportions in some cases. BMI may over-estimate body fat in individuals with a higher than average muscular build. BMI may underestimate body fat in older persons or those who have a lower than average amount of muscle.

**Disclaimer, data entered to calculate BMI is not stored by this site, it is for displayed for educational purposes only.

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Age Calculator

Use the calculator below to calculate patient age on date of testing.

Some of our tools and procedures are interpreted within the context of individuals developmental stage or age. The following is a handy calculator we use to calculate age in years, months, and days.

Enter dates in MM-DD-YYYY format

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Assessment of the Serotonin System

The Neurobehavioral Research Laboratory and Clinic has an active program of inquiry on the role of the neurotransmitter serotonin in behavioral and mental health. The examination of the serotonin system is important because serotonin is thought to be critical in the regulation of mood and behavior.

NRLC Serotonin Research

We are examining serotonin (5-HT) transporter genetics, expression rate, and function to determine if stressful life events, impulsivity, serotonin dysregulation, and their interaction contribute to suicidal and drug-use behaviors observed longitudinally among a group of high-risk adolescents. Using the platelet model, we are studying 5-HT transporter function and expression rate in a given state (e.g., current mood, stress, medications). We are currently examining ways to allow us to observe the underlying innate cell biology of serotonin function and expression rate (i.e., without the influence of variable state influences).

Serotonin transporter function is assessed by measuring 5-HT uptake and 5-HT transporter expression rate is assessed by measuring paroxetine binding. First, blood is separated into platelet rich plasma, buffy coat (containing leucocytes), and red blood cells by centrifugation. The DNA is isolated from leucocytes for genotyping the 5-HT transporter. The platelet rich plasma is used to study 5-HT uptake (function of 5-HT transporter) and paroxetine binding (density of 5-HT transporter). Radiolabeled [3H]-5HT uptake into platelets is measured according to the procedure described by Greenberg et al. (1999). Tubes containing assay buffer, pargyline, and [3H]-5-HT (65.2 to 2000 nM; NEN, Boston) are preincubated for 10 min at 37oC. Immediately afterwards, 3X107 cells are added to each tube and the tubes are incubated for an additional 2 min. A second set of tubes containing fluoxetine is tested in an identical manner to assess non-specific uptake. Cells are collected by rapid filtration through Whatman GF/B filters and washed three times with washing buffer using a Brandel Cell Harvester. Filters are placed in scintillation vials containing Beckman Redi-Solv scintillation fluid and immediately counted on a Beckman Coulter LS 6500 Scintillation Counter. Specific 5-HT uptake is calculated by subtracting non-specific binding (with fluoxetine) from total binding (without fluoxetine) and are expressed as fmoles/107 cells*min. Km is expressed in nM. Km and Vmax are determined using Prism 5.0 software by GraphPad.

A [3H]-paroxetine binding assay is used to determine the density of 5-HT transporter (Greenberg et al., 1999). Briefly, the platelet suspensions are centrifuged at 20,000 g for 30 min at 4oC to obtain membrane pellets. Each pellet is washed once with washing buffer, resuspended in incubation buffer, and then sonicated to homogenize the suspension. Platelet membrane homogenates are incubated with 6 concentrations of [3H]-paroxetine (0.005 to 2.175 nM) in incubation buffer. A second set of tubes containing fluoxetine is tested in an identical manner to assess non-specific binding. After incubation for 60 min at 22oC, ice cold incubation buffer is added to each tube and the samples filtered through Whatman GF/B filters using a Brandel Cell Harvester The filters are washed three times with ice cold incubation buffer, air dried, then placed in scintillation vials with Beckman Redi-Solv scintillation fluid for counting. Amount of membrane protein is determined using the BioRad Protein Assay. Specific [3H]-paroxetine binding is calculated by subtracting non-specific binding (with fluoxetine) from total binding (without fluoxetine) and is expressed as fmoles/mg protein. Kd is expressed as nM. Kd and Bmax of [3H]-paroxetine binding are determined using Prism 5.0 software by GraphPad.

This work is performed by Nathalie Hill-Kapturczak, Ph.D., Pei Yu Tian, and David Galindo in the Biological Psychiatry Laboratory directed by Martin A. Javors, Ph.D. The Biological Psychiatry Laboratory is located in the medical school within the Department of Psychiatry. This laboratory conducts a full array of bioassays including platelet; lymphoblastoid cultured cells, DNA, and L-tryptophan markers of serotonin, as well as markers for metabolites of neurotransmitters, medication, and drugs of abuse. The BPAL has 3,000 square feet of space, which is equipped with a UV-VIS spectrophotometer, a scintillation counter, seven HPLC systems, four UV detectors, three coulometric detectors, an API Triple Quadrupole mass spectrophotometer, three tabletop refrigerated centrifuges, two high speed centrifuges, an ultra centrifuge, a Milli-Q water system, two Brandell cell harvesters, an analytic balance, a top loading balance, two shaking water baths, a sonicator, a whole blood lumi aggregometer with AGG RO/LINK data reduction system, a Perkin Elmer Thermal Cycler Model 9600, a BRL gel sequencing apparatus, a gel dryer, a vacuum pump, 6 separate -80° freezers, an autoclave, refrigerators, an ABI oligonucleotide synthesizer, incubators, an ABI DNA sequencing apparatus with peripherals needed for automated genotyping analyses, Deltascan Dual Wavelength Fluorometer, a Beckman Coulter Z2 Coulter Counter, and a humidified 5% CO2 incubator (NuAire). This laboratory is fully accredited by the College of American Pathologists and certified by the Health Care and Financing Administration, the government agency that oversees clinical labs in the United States.

References

Greenberg, B.D., Tolliver, T.J., Huang, S.J., Bengel, Q.L., Murphy, D.L.(1999).
Genetic variation in the serotonin transporter promoter region affects serotonin uptake in human blood platelets.
American Journal of Medical Genetics, 88, 83-87.

L-Tryptophan

Over the last 30 years, serotonin function has been a topic of intense research for understanding a variety of behavioral and psychiatric disorders, many of which have a core feature of impulsive behavior.

Our continuing research program at the Neurobehavioral Research Laboratory and Clinic investigates the role of serotonin in the expression of impulsive behavior using an experimental technique designed to temporarily increase or decrease brain serotonin synthesis. We examine how reduced serotonin synthesis affects impulsivity in healthy adults, as well as how reduced serotonin affects impulsivity following alcohol consumption in both healthy adults and problem drinkers.

L-Tryptophan Manipulation

Donald M. Dougherty next to freezer

The mechanisms that lead to synthesis of brain serotonin are fundamental to our ability to test how changes in brain serotonin affect impulsivity and other behaviors. Serotonin is unique among neurotransmitters in that its synthesis is dependent on a single amino acid, L-tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid available to humans only through our daily dietary intake. The first step in synthesis of serotonin is the transformation of L-tryptophan to 5-hydroxytryptophan by the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase. This is the rate-limiting step in the synthetic process and important because tryptophan hydroxylase in the human brain is typically only 50% saturated with its tryptophan substrate. This makes tryptophan hydroxylase (and therefore serotonin synthesis) sensitive to fluctuations in tryptophan availability, which is essential to the experimental process for temporarily manipulating serotonin.

Because of the sensitivity to fluctuations in tryptophan availability, the most commonly used method for producing transient reductions in concentrations of brain serotonin synthesis is acute tryptophan depletion (ATD). This method involves administration of an amino-acid beverage that contains 15 amino acids, but lacks tryptophan. Consumption of the tryptophan depletion beverage initiates two separate processes that reduce the availability of tryptophan for brain serotonin synthesis and availability. First, the large influx of amino acids stimulates protein synthesis in the liver. But, without a proportionate intake of tryptophan, the concentration of endogenous plasma tryptophan is sharply reduced because of incorporation into newly synthesized proteins. In this process, the usual plasma tryptophan concentrations can be reduced by 96%. Second, the large influx of amino acids produces high plasma concentrations of five large neutral amino acids that compete with the (now) greatly reduced concentration of plasma tryptophan for transport into the brain. The small proportion of plasma tryptophan relative to these competing amino acids (i.e., CAAs: isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, and valine) minimizes transport of tryptophan across the blood-brain barrier. Together, these two processes greatly reduce tryptophan's availability in the brain for serotonin synthesis. In addition to ATD, serotonin synthesis can be maintained or increased using a tryptophan balanced or loading formulation, either of which can be used as a control condition for depletion. Tryptophan loading is accomplished by adding a disproportionately large amount of tryptophan to the same amino-acid formulation. This large amount of tryptophan relative to the competing LNAAs maximizes tryptophan's competitive advantage and increases the availability of tryptophan for brain serotonin synthesis.

Donald M. Dougherty experimenting

Since the mid 1980s, when conducting studies using ATD, most researchers used a 100g amino-acid formulation to test behavioral changes. However, considerable unpleasant side effects (e.g., drowsiness, nausea, emesis) can result following consumption of this size beverage. These have the potential to confound experimental findings and interpretations through increased participant attrition or physical discomfort of study participants, which can produce less than optimal performance during behavioral testing. To ameliorate the unwanted side effects, smaller-size beverages (most commonly 50g) have been used in a number of recent studies, although the time course and effectiveness of these smaller drinks was never tested. In one of our recent studies, we compared the 100g and 50g sizes across a 7-hour time-course assessment of plasma amino acid changes following both depletion and loading (Dougherty et al., 2008). In this study we compared hourly changes in the ratio of plasma tryptophan to CAA, which is the best indicator of tryptophan transport into the brain and subsequent reduction in serotonin synthesis. We found that changes in the ratio were similar for both the 100g (96% depletion) and 50g (89% depletion) formulations, but side effects and attrition were significantly lower following consumption of the 50g beverage. Determining that the 50g beverage is an effective means for depleting tryptophan and reducing unwanted side effects is a major addition to the literature of tryptophan research. Our work will provide a ready reference for researchers when planning future studies for examining mood and behavioral changes that result from serotonin dysregulation.

Using the 50g formulation, we have also tested the combined effects of tryptophan depletion (i.e., reduced serotonin) and alcohol consumption to examine changes in impulsive behavior (Dougherty et al., 2007). Initial results showed that ATD plus Alcohol significantly increased impulsivity relative to all other experimental conditions (ATD plus Non-Alcohol Placebo, ATL plus Alcohol, and ATL plus Non-Alcohol Placebo). One particularly novel aspect of this study is that all study volunteers were healthy adults without any pre-existing physical or psychiatric disorders. By testing healthy adults, we are more confident that the changes in impulsivity we observe following alcohol consumption are the result of reduced serotonin and not some other factor(s) related to an individual's underlying physical or psychiatric condition. When comparing impulsivity measured before any experimental intervention to impulsivity measured after consumption of each of the beverages we can infer that reduced serotonin function is likely to be an underlying causal factor in these behavioral changes particularly following alcohol consumption. The implication is that some individuals may be more vulnerable to alcohol-induced impulsive behavior that is (at least in part) related to brain serotonin dysregulation.

Donald M. Dougherty and team member

In one of our current studies we are testing whether three different types of impulsive behavior are differentially affected by lowered brain serotonin and alcohol consumption, and in two new studies just getting underway, we are testing alcohol-induced impulsive behavior of binge and non-binge drinkers. In one study we will determine how reduced serotonin synthesis (via ATD) interacts with alcohol consumed during a simulated binge to produce increased impulsivity. In the other we will determine the relationship of serotonin reductions, impulsivity, and the ability for binge drinkers to reduce their alcohol consumption during a contingency management procedure (i.e., rewards received at the end of each week for successful drinking reduction as measured by a continuous alcohol monitoring device). These and future studies will reveal how serotonin dysregulation impacts alcohol consumption and impulsive behaviors with an ultimate goal of applying this knowledge in community prevention and intervention settings.

Dietary Sources of Tryptophan

This table provides examples of common foods and the amounts of tryptophan and the competing amino acids (CAAs) in those foods. More importantly, the table provides the ratio of tryptophan to CAAs. It is this ratio that provides the best indication of tryptophan availability for transport across the blood-brain barrier for use in serotonin synthesis. The foods listed below are ranked in descending order by the ratio of tryptophan (Trp) to Competing Amino Acids (CAAs), which is a convenient way to compare different foods and the relative amounts of tryptophan available to the brain. Popular lore holds that it is tryptophan that causes the sleepiness we feel after a turkey dinner, but interestingly, turkey ranks quite near the bottom of this list in terms of tryptophan availability. To put these measurements in context, for example, the recommended daily allowance of tryptophan for a 175 lb (79 kg) adult is 278 to 476 mg. Of course this amount takes the needs of the whole body into account, not just the brain.

Food Item Unit Measured L-tryptophan (mg) Sum of CAAs* (mg) Trp/CAA Ratio
Whole Milk Quart 732 8,989 0.081
Dried Prune One Piece 2 27 0.074
Semisweet Chocolate Ounce 18 294 0.061
Wheat Bread Slice 19 317 0.060
Sweet Chocolate Ounce 16 270 0.059
Oats for Oatmeal Cup 147 2,617 0.056
White Bread Slice 22 439 0.050
Chicken, Skinless, Boneless, Dark Meat (raw) Pound 256 5,492 0.047
Chicken, Skinless, Boneless, Light Meat (raw) Pound 238 5,122 0.046
Banana One Medium 11 237 0.046
Canned Tuna Ounce 472 10,591 0.045
2% Milk Quart 551 12,516 0.044
Turkey, Skinless, Boneless, Light Meat (raw) Pound 410 9,525 0.043
Turkey, Skinless, Boneless, Dark Meat (raw) Pound 303 7,036 0.043
Peanuts Ounce 65 1,574 0.041
Cheddar Cheese Ounce 91 2,298 0.040
Apple One Medium 2 70 0.029

*The CAAs are isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, and valine, the five large neutral amino acids that compete with tryptophan for entry into the brain.

Amino Acids in Tryptophan Depletion and Loading Formulations

Table 2. This table provides the amount of each of the 15 amino acids plus tryptophan for both the 50 g and 100 g L-tryptophan depletion and loading formulations used in experimental research. For perspective, recall (see Table 1) that recommended daily intake for a 175 lb (79 kg) adult is 278 to 476 milligrams. The amounts listed below are measured in grams.
50 g L-tryptophan Formulation 100 g
0.00 L-tryptophan Depletion 0.00
5.15 L-tryptophan Loading 10.30
50 g Competing Amino Acids (CAAs) 100 g
4.00 L-isoleucine 8.00
6.75 L-leucine 13.50
2.85 L-phenylalanine 5.70
3.45 L-tyrosine 6.90
4.45 L-valine 8.90
50 g Remaining Amino Acids 100 g
2.75 L-alanine 5.50
2.45 L-arginine 4.90
1.35 L-cysteine 2.70
1.60 Glycine HCl 3.20
1.60 L-histidine 3.20
4.45 L-lysine 8.90
1.50 L-methionine 3.00
6.10 L-proline 12.20
3.45 L-serine 6.90
3.25 L-threonine 6.50
50.00 Depletion, total grams 100.00
55.15 Loading, total grams 110.30

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Neuroimaging and the NRLC

The NRLC actively collaborates with the Research Imaging Institute (RII) at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA). Researchers at the NRLC use state of the art neuroimaging techniques to better understand the neural circuitry underlying maladaptive behaviors, with a current focus on substance use disorder research in both addicted and at risk populations.

Neuroimaging Techniques used by the NRLC

Donald M. Dougherty next to freezer

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

fMRI takes advantage of rapid changes in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signaling accompanying neural activations to noninvasively identify brain regions activated while performing specific behavioral tasks or passively resting.

Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) MRI

DTI takes advantage of water naturally diffusing more readily along axons to determine primary directions of neural fibers. DTI can be used for tractography (inferring axon connectivity patterns) to compare axonal connections between populations.

Positron Emission Topography (PET)

PET images are constructed from gamma rays emitted from positron-releasing radionuclide tracers. Tracers used to measure brain activity include 18fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), which assays glucose utilization, and oxygen-15 (O-15) labeled water, which assays blood flow.

Neuroimaging Resources

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Psychophysiology

Psychophysiological Assessment within the NRLC

The NRLC has an active program of psychophysiological research that is focused on discovering the physiological substrates of behavioral performance.

The physiological recording studio is housed in a suite of offices in the heart of the NRLC building. This custom-construction suite allows for physiological recording within a tightly controlled recording environment. Scalable lighting and temperature control make this an optimal environment for physiological recording.

Domains of Psychophysiological Research

Researchers within the NRLC have a rich history of human psychophysiological research that brings together techniques including cortical measured event related potentials (e.g. P300) and evoked potentials (e.g. Auditory Intensity Dependence), as well as measures of acoustic startle response and autonomic function (blood pressure, heart rate response).

Current areas of emphasis include:

Human Acoustic Startle Response

Startle involves the electromyographic measurement of activation of the Orbicularis Oculi in reaction to rapid-onset, intense stimulation. In this procedure, we measure the magnitude of muscle activity of an involuntary eyeblink that is produced by a brief, but loud (e.g. 105 dB) noise. The response involves the contraction of muscles to prepare for escape or danger. As such the startle response is a noninvasive measure of information transfer from sensory receptors to motor effectors in mammals including humans.

NRLC Psychophysiological Research

Prepulse Inhibition (PPI) of the Human Acoustic Startle Response

The startle response can be modified by exposure to a non-startling stimulus immediately before the startle-eliciting stimulus. For instance, if a noise (e.g. 70 dB) is presented just before a loud tone (e.g. 105 dB), then the size of the involuntary eyeblink may be significantly reduced. This attenuation is occurs because the processing of the initial (non-startling) stimulus is coupled with a sensorimotor gating mechanism that protects processing from being interrupted by the normally startling stimulus. Sensorimotor gating, represent an early stage of stimulus evaluation, acts as a perceptual filter that allows some stimuli to pass through for further processing while filtering out other stimuli. Problems with sensorimotor gating can allow higher order processing centers to be overwhelmed by irrelevant information, which leading to inefficient cognitive processing and expression of pre-potent responding.

Affective Modulation of the Human Acoustic Startle Response

The startle response can be modified by pre-exposure to stimuli that have some affective quality. Generally, unpleasant stimuli augment the startle response and pleasant stimuli attenuate the response, relative to neutral conditions. There are standardized stimuli sets that available for manipulating the affective quality for this paradigm. Disruption of valence modulation has been shown to be important to the understanding of physiological effects of alcohol intoxication and physiological reactivity in psychopathic samples.

P300

The P300 is a cortical event-related potential elicited by presentation of some deviant (rare) stimulus within a broader chain of stimuli. The magnitude of the P300 response is thought to reflect basic aspects of information processing such as allocation of attentional resources and context updating. The NRLC's interest in P300 has been used as an endophenotype measure of externalizing behavior disorders.

NRLC Psychophysiological Recording Equipment

The NRLC employs a wide range of hardware and software systems for our psychophysiological studies. Current research includes human acoustic startle, prepulse inhibition, and event related potentials (P300).  We also have the capacity for impedance cardiography, blood pressure, and skin conductance measurements.

We currently utilize the following systems in our research:

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The Administrative Offices

The Administrative Offices of the NRLC are immediately adjacent to the Primary Research Area on the second floor of the University Plaza Building. This proximity promotes communication between the core NRLC faculty and the study staff located in the data collection areas.

This area includes faculty offices and administrative staff offices, as well as work spaces where other collaborators, visiting researchers, trainees, and guests can work closely with NRLC faculty.In addition, the Administrative Office area also contains a large conference room with high-performance video conferencing equipment to facilitate communication with collaborators from around the world. The video conferencing equipment is also used with organizations within our community that are involved in outreach and preventive interventions.The NRLC Administrative Office Area occupies 2,766 square feet of space.

NRLC Administrative Office and team members
NRLC Administrative Office and team members

The Primary Research Area

The NRLC Primary Research Area is located on the second floor (entry level) of the University Plaza Building. This area was designed to efficiently accommodate the needs of our diverse studies as well as provide a comfortable, safe, and private environment for study volunteers, since this is where they spend the majority of their time.

NRLC employees looking at a computer

The Primary Research Area is divided into two separate sections: the Green Zone and Blue Zone. These two areas allow us to separate study participants in different study protocols, while allowing study staff easy access from one zone to another. For example, in our laboratory, studies with children are separated from studies with adults. These two zones provide flexibility to assess participants of all ages in studies that last from a few hours to a few days or weeks, and event studies that require multiple assessments across several years.

NRLC computer research

The Green Zone

The Green Zone includes a check-in area, two waiting areas, two interview/testing rooms, and four behavioral assessment rooms.

NRLC team members

The Blue Zone

The Blue Zone includes a check-in area, three waiting areas, an interview room, six behavioral assessment rooms, and a room for medication or other pharmacological administration.

Both zones include areas for study staff to monitor study participants, and to collect, analyze, and store data. The NRLC Primary Research Area occupies 3,800 square feet of space.

Procedures and Facilities

The primary facility for the Neurobehavioral Research Laboratory and Clinic is located in the University Plaza Building at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. This facility encompasses three main areas that have each been designed to support different activities related to the conduct of behavioral research studies with children and adults. These areas include:

Together, these three areas have been designed to efficiently and flexibly conduct multiple types of research studies. More importantly, housing research faculty with expertise that spans several different disciplines, and staff, within a single physical location gives the NRLC a unique capacity to address complex areas of research study using a translational approach.

Beyond the physical facilities, the NRLC uses a range of cutting edge procedures, software, and hardware to accomplish our goals of understanding of the behavioral, biological, and physiological processes that lead to maladaptive behaviors such as impulsivity, fighting, alcohol and drug abuse, and suicide. The following is a description of several domains of inquiry that we utilize in our studies.

The NRLC Welcome Center

The NRLC Welcome Center is our screening and intake area, located on the first floor of the University Plaza Building (UPL).

NRLC welcome center

The Welcome Center includes four interview rooms for determining eligibility and enrolling study volunteers. It also includes a nurse practitioner's medical examination room and office area where physical examinations, medical history interviews, and blood samples are performed. Immediately adjacent to the nurse practitioner's room is a processing laboratory where blood, urine, and other samples are prepared, tested, and stored. Also within the Welcome Center is a light- and sound-attenuated psycho-physiological suite that is specifically designed for collection of human startle and event-related potential data. In addition, there are several offices for study staff and materials.

In total, the Welcome Center has 2,600 square feet of space.