Dr. Everling and His Team Receive 2.6M CIHR Research Grant

Muscarinic cholinergic modulation of cognition in primates ($2.5 million)

Stefan Everling, PhD, and his team are investigating the changes in normal cognition in schizophrenia and testing new drug treatments that may improve these cognitive changes. These problems can be seen in a reduced attention span, difficulties to memorize things, poor judgment skills, and in difficulties to plan and prioritize everyday life. The cognitive deficits are likely the most important factor for poor outcome in schizophrenia. Although current drugs are quite successful in treating hallucinations and delusions, they largely fail in treating these cognitive deficits.

The goal is to understand how brain areas interact and how certain drugs can improve cognitive processes to identify drugs that will improve the cognitive deficits in schizophrenia.

“My goal is to understand the role of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in cognition from the level of single brain cells to the communication in the entire brain,” said Everling. “By understanding how brain areas interact and how certain drugs can improve cognitive processes, we hope to identify drugs that will improve the cognitive deficits in schizophrenia.”