In the Media
Assistant Professor, Psychology
Krista Lisdahl is advancing our understanding of how chronic drug use effects the brains of adolescents and young adults. With a unique, multidisciplinary approach integrating molecular genetics, brain structure and function, and behavior, her lab aims to better understand the cognitive consequences of a chronic pot habit in the developing brain, and whether physical exercise can reduce or even prevent the damage, or decrease drug abuse.
The research also seeks more information about the process of connectivity in the maturing brain and the role of physical activity in that process.
Described by a department colleague as “truly cutting-edge work,” Lisdahl’s research has garnered several national awards, perhaps most notably the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on professionals in the early stages of their research careers.
Lisdahl has published 30 peer reviewed articles and book chapters and has eight more under review or in progress. Seven of her publications have come since her arrival at UWM in 2011. Lisdahl has 59 papers or posters presented at conferences and 11 invited lectures at research institutions around the country. Her research has been funded by more than $2 million from the National Institutes of Health.
May 2, 2013
DTI is an imaging technique that allows researchers to measure the quality of the white matter tracts, or the large connections between brain areas. We collect DTI data in our latest R01-funded study. Just recently, we analyzed it on some of our subjects; here are some images from that dataset!
Research Report 2013: Teen Brains on Pot
Mar 7, 2013
Our current study was featured in UWM's 2013 Research Report:
Teen Brains on Pot Marijuana is the No. 2 drug of choice among teens, behind alcohol, and its use has been increasing. With a prestigious grant that recognizes the nation’s most promising young researchers, UWM’s Krista Lisdahl is testing whether exercise could be brain-protective for young pot smokers. Calm teenagers can reason almost as well as adults. But introduce a negative emotion, like stress, into their decision-making process and it’s a whole other story. Regular pot use before age 16 has been shown to disrupt development of parts of the brain involved in the ability to make rational decisions, persist over time and withhold responses in the face of a negative emotion. Since exercise increases blood flow to the brain and releases several brain-healthy chemicals, UWM neuropsychologist Krista Lisdahl wonders what the cognitive effects of exercise would be on young, regular pot users.
Mini-Counseling Sessions Can Curb Problem Drinking
Sep 28, 2012
A new study shows short counseling sessions can curb problem drinking:
Brief counseling from primary care doctors reduces "risky" drinking, defined as having more than four drinks a day for men, three for women, a federal task force says. About one in three Americans misuse alcohol, the panel says, with the vast majority falling in the "risky" category. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says the available evidence shows that patients who had multiple counseling sessions lasting 10 to 15 minutes were 12 percent more likely to quit binge drinking a year later and 11 percent more likely to stay within recommended alcohol limits. Alcohol consumption went down from 23 drinks to 19 drinks a week after the counseling, according to the panel's analysis of 10 well-done studies. The task force calls those "moderate" benefits – but enough to justify primary care doctors screening all adult patients for signs of problem drinking and providing counseling. It doesn't specify how many counseling sessions are needed, but says it takes more than one. Likewise, the task force doesn't endorse a specific kind of alcohol counseling but says a number of methods are effective, including computer-based and telephone sessions, as well as face-to-face encounters.
posted Sep 28, 2012, 12:30 PM
Dr. Lisdahl was on 20/20 last Friday discussing hangovers.
Sep 14, 2012
Dr. Lisdahl was just interviewed by Tom Luljak on WUWM Today.
Aug 29, 2012
Dr. Lisdahl was just awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from President Obama and the National Institute of Health (NIH). See the press release below!
President Obama Honors Outstanding Early-Career Scientists
President Obama today named 96 researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
“Discoveries in science and technology not only strengthen our economy, they inspire us as a people.” President Obama said. “The impressive accomplishments of today’s awardees so early in their careers promise even greater advances in the years ahead.”
The Presidential early career awards embody the high priority the Obama Administration places on producing outstanding scientists and engineers to advance the Nation’s goals, tackle grand challenges, and contribute to the American economy. The recipients are employed or funded by the following departments and agencies: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior, Department of Veteran Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation, which join together annually to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies' missions.
The awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.
Read more about the award at the full press release.
Dr. Lisdahl and Dr. Francis Collins
Aug 29, 2012
Dr. Lisdahl was interviewed on the Ideas Network of Wisconsin Public Radio about the effects of binge drinking on adolescent brain development.
She was again interviewed about binge drinking in this five-minute segment.
Dr. Lisdahl was interviewed on The Lake Effect — Aug 29, 2012 2:21:25 PM
UWM features Dr. Lisdahl's research on their homepage — Aug 29, 2012 2:18:44 PM