32| Biomarkers of Accelerated Aging in Severe Mental Illness – A Conversation With Dr. Lisa Eyler (Part 2)

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.  Visit the post for Part 1 to see Lisa’s bio and selected references.

A pdf of the transcript for this episode is available here.

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Show Notes (with time stamps)

  • Age-related changes in functional connectivity (1:26)
  • Default mode network (DMN; 2:27)
  • Functional connectivity in cognitive aging and severe mental illnesses (SMI; 4:31)
  • Functional connectivity of the DMN and cognitive changes associated with bipolar disorder (5:17)
  • Biomarkers of accelerated aging in SMI: telomere length (9:40), telomerase activity (10:42), and oxidative stress (11:24)
  • Behavioral interventions for older adults with SMI (12:38)
  • Combined treatments for older adults with SMI (15:25)

Professional Development Question

  • Eyler’s interdisciplinary training experiences (17:42)

Bonus Questions

  • Bridging the gap between neuroimaging and neuropsychology (20:20)
  • The importance of knowing the history of neuropsychology and the role of the classic case studies in the development of theories that are still tested today (23:03)
  • Early-career professionals should “diversify their portfolio” (25:37)


  • Review of the episode with Dr. Adam Brickman about the interplay between cerebrovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease (29:49)
  • The difference between clinical syndrome and neuropathology (31:51)
  • The clinical utility of fluid biomarkers and advanced neuroimaging in Alzheimer’s disease (33:24)
  • Case study of disclosing the genetic risk of Alzheimer’s disease and how John used a biomarker to infer the patient’s level of risk for developing the disease (35:56)
  • The role of biomarkers in the preclinical detection of neurodevelopmental disorders and SMI (39:09)
  • The potential issues of direct-to-consumer genetic testing (41:30)
  • The use of biomarkers in assessment and management across neurodegeneration, neurodevelopmental, and psychiatric disorders (45:18)