WG Neurobiology of Psychoses
Head: Prof. Dr. med. Andrea Schmitt
Schizophrenia and affective disorders (depression, bipolar disorder) often have an unfavourable outcome with persistent symptoms and cognitive disturbances. Additionally, these diseases are underdiagnosed and improvement of diagnosis by general practitioners is warranted. The DFG-funded graduate school POKAL aims to significantly improve the care of patients with depression in a primary care setting. In our project “Prediction models for depression using physiological markers” we will use uni- and multivariate clustering techniques to identify and validate psychosocial-somatic subpopulations (metabolic syndrome, heart rate variability, cardiovascular parameters) in a depressive patient cohort. In addition, we will perform prediction and validation of depression based on psychosocial-somatic parameters in a naturalistic cohort recruited in general practitioner practices.
Furthermore, funded by the Else Kröner-Fresenius Research Graduate School “Translational Psychiatry” our research group deals with the neurobiological background of patients with schizophrenia and affective disorders. In post-mortem brain regions we investigate cell types (neurons, oligodendrocytes, astrocytes) by using microscopy (design-based stereology) (Figure 1A,B), RNA sequencing and proteomics. Additionally, we work on differentiation of patient-derived stem cells into neurons and oligodendrocytes and cell-specific RNA sequencing (Figure 2).
To improve treatment of our patients we develop new treatment strategies such as physical exercise and investigate effects on symptoms and cognition in large cohorts (funded by BMBF).
Figure 1A, B: A. Delineation of hippocampal subregions Dentate Gyrus (DG) and Cornu Ammonis (CA) regions in human brain B. Cresyl-violet and luxol fast blue staining in CA4. White arrowheads indicate neurons, black arrowheads point to oligodendrocytes.
Figure 2: Patient stratification for subsequent human-induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-based cellular disease modeling and new treatment strategies. Differentiation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells and myelinating co-culture systems could simulate disease-relevant endophenotype profiles in vitro.
Here you can find an overview of the most important publications of our department
Prof. Dr. Daniel Martins-de-Souza, University of Campinas, Brazil
- Prof. Dr. Christoph Schmitz, Institute for Neuroanatomy, LMU
- Prof. Dr. Johann Steiner, Department of Psychiatry, University Magdeburg
- Prof. Dr. Michael Ziller, University of Münster
- Prof. Dr. Antonius Schneider, Institute of General Practice and Health Services Research, TUM
- Prof. Dr. Jochen Gensichen, Institute of General Practice, LMU University Hospital