• Barr, Alasdair

    Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
    Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, UBC
    Degrees / Designations
    Primary Area of Research
    Brain, Behaviour & Development
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    604-875-2000 ext. 4728
    Lab Phone
    Mailing Address
    BC Children's Hospital Research Institute

    Room A3- 125
    950 West 28th Avenue
    Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4 

    Affiliate Websites
    Research Areas
    • Schizophrenia/Psychosis
    • Depression 
    • Animal models 
    • Biological mechanisms
    • Brain morphology
    • Clinical trials
    • Cognition
    • Drug development
    • Drug dosing
    • Drug side-effects 
    • Neuropsychiatry/ Neuropsychology
    • Neurotransmitters
    • Psychostimulants

    The central focus of my research is mental health and addictions, with a particular emphasis on psychosis and the medications used in its treatment. My research program is based on a multidisciplinary and translational approach that spans from "bench to bedside," as I maintain strong and highly productive research programs in both clinical and related preclinical research.

    Working in collaboration with some of Canada's finest researchers, I study "psychosis" from three different perspectives. These include idiopathic schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, psychostimulant drug-induced psychosis and (most recently) the post-operative delirium that occurs following cardiac surgery. Despite different etiologies and patient populations, these three conditions share many similarities in terms of symptoms and treatment, and all can be studied in a translational manner.

    Current Projects
    Selected Publications

    Ramos-Miguel A, Honer WG, Boyda HN, Sawada K, Beasley CL, Procyshyn RM, Barr AM. Exercise prevents downregulation of hippocampal presynaptic proteins following olanzapine-elicited metabolic dysregulation in rats: distinct roles of inhibitory and excitatory terminals. Neurosci. In Press

    Tse L, Schwarz SK, Bowering JB, Moore RL, Barr AM. Incidence of and risk factors for delirium after cardiac surgery at a quaternary care cardiac centre: a retrospective cohort study. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. In Press

    Tse L; Barr AM; Vila-Rodriguez F. Neuroleptic malignant syndrome: a review from a clinically oriented perspective. Curr Neuropharmacol. In Press

    Yin J; Collier A; Barr AM; Honer WG; Procyshyn RM. Paliperidone palmitate long-acting injectable given intramuscularly in the deltoid versus the gluteal muscle: Are they therapeutically equivalent? J Clin Psychopharm. In Press

    Wang CK, Xu M, Ross CJ, Lo R, Procyshyn RM, Vila-Rodriguez F, White RF, Honer WG, Barr AM. Development of a cost-efficient novel method for rapid, concurrent genotyping of 5 common single nucleotide polymorphisms of the Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) gene by Tetra-Primer Amplification Refractory System.Int J Meth Psychiatr Res. In Press

    Whitney Z, Procyshyn RM, Fredrikson DH, Barr AM. (2015). Treatment of clozapine-associated weight gain: a systematic review. Eur J Clin Pharmacol.71:389-401. PMID: 25627831

    Andreazza AC; Barakauskas VE, Fazeli S; Feresten A; Shao L; Wei V; Wu CH; Ypsilanti A; Barr AM; Beasley CL. (2015). Effects of sub-chronic clozapine and haloperidol administration on oxidative stress in rat serum, liver and brain.  Neurosci Lett. 591:36-40.

    Honer WG, Jones AA, Thornton AE, Barr AM, Procyshyn RM, Vila-Rodriguez F (2015). Response trajectories to clozapine in a secondary analysis of pivotal trials support using treatment response to subtype schizophrenia. Can J Psychiatry. 60:19-25. PMID: 25886676

    Whitney Z, Boyda HN, Procyshyn RM, Elbe D, Black T, Eslami A, Barr AM. (2015). Therapeutic drug levels of second generation antipsychotics in youth: a systematic review. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 25:234-245. PMID: 25803501

    Tse L, Bowering JB, Schwarz SKB, Moore RL, Burns KD, Barr AM. (2015). Postoperative delirium in patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement: A historical cohort study. Can J Anesth. 62:22-30. PMID: 25644851

    Tse L, Bowering JB, Schwarz SKW, Moore RL, Sztramko R, Barr AM. (2015). Incidence and risk factors for impaired mobility in older cardiac surgery patients during the early postoperative period. Geriatr Gerontol Int. 15:276-281. PMID: 24617507

    Drugs of abuse. In Clinical Handbook of Psychotropic Drugs (ed J Jeffries) 19th edition. Barr AM (2015).

    Increased SNARE Protein-Protein Interactions in Schizophrenia Orbitofrontal Cortex. Ramos-Miguel A, Beasley CL, Dwork AJ, Mann J, Rosoklija G, Barr AM, Honer WG. (2014). Biol Psychiatry.

    Gicas KM, Vila-Rodriguez F, Paquet K, Barr AM, Procyshyn RM, Lang DJ, Montaner JS, Kradjen M,  Krausz M, MacEwan GW, Smith GN, Panenka WJ, Honer WG, Thornton AE (2014). Neurocognitive profiles of marginally housed persons with comorbid substance dependence, viral infection and psychiatric illness. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 36:1009-1022. PMID: 25380059

    Leung JYT, Pang CCY, Procyshyn RM, Barr AM. (2014). Cardiovascular effects of acute treatment with the antipsychotic drug olanzapine in rats. Vascul Pharmacol. 62:143-149. PMID: 24969105

    Fredrikson DH, Boyda HN, Tse L, Whitney Z, Pattison MA, Ott FJ, Hansen L, Barr AM. (2014). Improving metabolic and cardiovascular health at an early psychosis intervention program in Vancouver, Canada. Front Psychiatry. PMID: 25249985


    Wu C, Yuen J, Boyda HN, Procyshyn RM, Wang CK, Asiri YI, Pang CCY, Honer WG, Barr AM. (2014). An evaluation of the effects of the novel antipsychotic drug lurasidone on glucose tolerance and insulin resistance: a comparison with olanzapine. PLoS One. PMID: 25254366

    Elbe D, Barr AM, Honer WG, Procyshyn RM. (2014). Managing ADHD and disruptive behaviour disorders with combination psychostimulant and antipsychotic treatment. J Psychiatry Neurosci. 39:E 32-33. PMID: 24758945

    Procyshyn RM, Su J, Elbe D, Liu AY, Panenka WJ, Davidson J, Honer WG, Barr AM. (2014). Prevalence and patterns of antipsychotic use in youth at the time of admission and discharge from an inpatient psychiatric facility. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 34:17-22. PMID: 24346744

    Procyshyn RM, Vila-Rodriguez F, Honer WG, Barr AM. (2014). Clozapine administered once versus twice daily: Does it make a difference? Med Hypotheses. 82:225-228.PMID: 24360486

    Boyda HN, Procyshyn RM, Asiri Y, Wu C, Wang CK, Lo R, Pang CC, Honer WG, Barr AM. (2014). Antidiabetic-drug combination treatment for glucose intolerance in adult female rats treated acutely with olanzapine. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 48:170-176. PMID: 24140931

    Boyda HN, Ramos-Miguel A, Procyshyn RM, Töpfer E, Lant N, Choy HH, Wong R, Li L, Pang CC, Honer WG, Barr AM. (2014). Routine exercise ameliorates the metabolic side effects of treatment with the atypical antipsychotic drug olanzapine in rats. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 17:77-90. PMID: 23953063

    Tse L, Procyshyn RM, Fredrikson DH, Boyda HN, Honer WG, Barr AM. (2014). Pharmacological treatment of antipsychotic-induced dyslipidemia and hypertension. Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 29:125-137. PMID: 24169026

    Woodward TS, Jung K, Smith GN , Hwang H, Barr AM, Procyshyn RM, Flynn SW, van der Gaag M, Honer WG (2014). Symptom changes in five dimensions of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale in refractory psychosis. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 264:673-682. PMID: 24126470

    Insomnia. In Patient Self-Care (ed C Repchinsky), 1st editiion. Procyshyn RM & Barr AM (2014). 33-42.

    Depression. In Patient Self-Care (ed C Repchinsky), 1st editiion. Procyshyn RM & Barr AM (2014). 43-50.

    Vila-Rodriguez F, Panenka WJ, Lang DJ, Thornton AE, Vertinsky T, Wong H, Barr AM, Procyshyn RM, Sidhu JJ, Smith GN, Buchanan T, Krajden M, Krausz M, Montaner JS, MacEwan GW, Honer WG. (2013). The hotel study: multimorbidity in a community sample living in marginal housing. Am J Psychiatry. 170:1413-1422.PMID: 23929175

    Feresten AH, Barakauskas V, Ypsilanti A, Barr AM, Beasley CL. (2013). Increased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein in prefrontal cortex in psychotic illness. Schizophr Res. 150:252-257. PMID: 23911257

    Boyle PA, Wilson RS, Yu L, Barr AM, Honer WG, Schneider JA, Bennett DA. (2013). Much of late life cognitive decline is not due to common neurodegenerative pathologies. Ann Neurol. 74:478-489. PMID: 23798485

    Lang DJ, Barr AM, Procyshyn RM (2013). Management of medication-related cardiometabolic risk in patients with severe mental illness. Curr Cardiovasc Risk Rep. 7:283-287. PMID: 23864926

    Linton D, Barr AM, Honer WG, Procyshyn RM (2013). Antipsychotic and psychostimulant drug combination therapy in attention deficit/hyperactivity and disruptive behavior disorders: a systematic review of efficacy and tolerability. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 15. PMID: 23539465

    Vila-Rodriguez F, Tsang P, Barr AM. (2013). Chronic benign neutropenia/agranulocytosis associated with non-clozapine antipsychotics. Am J Psychiatry. 170:1213-1214. PMID: 24084822

    Linton D, Procyshyn RM, Elbe D, Lee LH, Barr AM. (2013). A retrospective study of antipsychotic drug switching in a pediatric population. BMC Psychiatry.PMID: 24103197

    Jones AA, Vila-Rodriguez F, Panenka WJ, Leonova O, Strehlau V, Lang DJ, Thornton AE, Wong H, Barr AM, Procyshyn RM, Smith GN, Buchanan T, Krajden M, Krausz M, Montaner JS, Macewan GW, Nutt DJ, Honer WG. (2013). Personalized risk assessment of drug-related harm is associated with health outcomes. PloS One.PMID: 24223192

    Alam Mehrjerdi Z, Barr AM, Noroozi A. (2013). Methamphetamine-associated psychosis: a new health challenge in Iran. Daru 21(1). PMID: 23577655

    Boyda HN , Procyshyn RM , Tse L , Xu J , Jin CH , Wong D , Pang CC , Honer WG , Barr AM (2013). Antipsychotic Polypharmacy Increases Metabolic Dysregulation in Female Rats. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 21:164-171. PMID: 23356730

    Boyda HN , Procyshyn RM , Pang CC , Hawkes E , Wong D , Jin CH , Honer WG , Barr AM. (2013). Metabolic side-effects of the novel second-generation antipsychotic drugs asenapine and iloperidone: a comparison with olanzapine. PloS One.PMID: 23326434

    Lecomte T , Mueser KT , MacEwan W , Thornton AE , Buchanan T , Bouchard V , Goldner E , Brink J , Lang D , Kang S , Barr AM , Honer WG. (2013). Predictors of persistent psychotic symptoms in persons with methamphetamine abuse receiving psychiatric treatment. J Nerv Ment Dis. 201:1085-1089. PMID: 24284645

    Boyda HN , Procyshyn RM , Pang CC , Barr AM (2013). Peripheral adrenoceptors: the impetus behind glucose dysregulation and insulin resistance. J Neuroendocrinol. 25:217-228. PMID: 23140239

    Barr AM , Wu CH , Wong C , Hercher C , Töpfer E , Boyda HN , Procyshyn RM , Honer WG , Beasley CL (2013). Effects of chronic exercise and treatment with the antipsychotic drug olanzapine on hippocampal volume in adult female rats. Neuroscience. 255:147-157. PMID: 24141179

    Panenka WJ, Procyshyn RM, Lecomte T, MacEwan GW, Flynn SW, Honer WG, Barr AM (2013). Methamphetamine use: a comprehensive review of molecular, preclinical and clinical findings. Drug Alcohol Depend. 129:167-179. PMID: 23273775

    Smith, G.N., MacEwan, G.W., Kopala, Lang, D.J., Barr, A.M., Honer, W.G., Ehmann, T.S., Good, K., Thornton, A.E., & Neilson, H. (2010) Prenatal tobacco exposure in first-episode psychosis. Schizophrenia Research, 119(1-3), 271–272. PMID: 20116216

    Procyshyn, R. M., Honer, W. G., Wu, T. K., Ko, R. W., McIsaac, S. A., Young, A. H., Johnson, J.L., & Barr, A. M. (2010). Persistent antipsychotic polypharmacy and excessive dosing in the community psychiatric treatment setting: A review of medication profiles in 435 canadian outpatients. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 71(5), 566-573. PMID: 20361903

    Procyshyn, R. M., Barr, A. M., Flynn, S., Schenk, C., Ganesan, S., & Honer, W. G. (2010). Long-acting injectable risperidone in treatment refractory patients: A 14-week open- label pilot study. Schizophrenia Research, 123(2-3), 273-275. PMID: 20688481

    Procyshyn, R. M., Barr, A. M., Brickell, T., & Honer, W. G. (2010). Medication errors in psychiatry: A comprehensive review. CNS Drugs, 24(7), 595-609. PMID: 20356315

    Okoli, C. T., Khara, M., Procyshyn, R. M., Johnson, J. L., Barr, A. M., & Greaves, L. (2010). Smoking cessation interventions among individuals in methadone maintenance: A brief review. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 38(2), 191- 199.PMID: 20015608

    Boyda, H. N., Tse, L., Procyshyn, R. M., Honer, W. G., & Barr, A. M. (2010). Preclinical models of antipsychotic drug-induced metabolic side effects. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 31(10), 484-497. PMID: 20674990

    Barr, A. M., Honer, W. G., Johnson, J. L., Wu, T. K., & Procyshyn, R. M. (2010). A comparison of antipsychotic drug-defined daily doses versus chlorpromazine equivalent doses in patients with or without extrapyramidal motor symptoms.Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 30(6), 741-743. PMID: 21057241

    Barakauskas, V. E., Ypsilanti, A. R., Barr, A. M., Innis, S. M., Honer, W. G., & Beasley, C. L. (2010). Effects of sub-chronic clozapine and haloperidol administration on brain lipid levels. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 34(4), 669-673. PMID: 20227455

    Barakauskas, V. E., Beasley, C. L., Barr, A. M., Ypsilanti, A. R., Li, H. Y., Thornton, A. E., Wong, H., Rosokija, G., Mann, J.J., Mancevski, B., Jakovski, Z., Davceva, N., Illevski, B., Dwork, A.J., Falkai, P., & Honer, W. G. (2010). A novel mechanism and treatment target for presynaptic abnormalities in specific striatal regions in schizophrenia. Neuropsychopharmacology : Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 35(5), 1226-1238. PMID: 20072114

    Barr, A.M., Boyda, H.N., & Procyshyn, R.M. (2010). Methamphetamine abuse. Withdrawal & Tolerance. Olmstead, C. (Eds). Animal Models of Drug Addiction. Totawa, NJ: Humana Press.

    Honours & Awards
    Research Group Members