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Translational neurogenetics of psychiatric disorders
Many severe psychiatric disorders and complex behaviours are highly heritable. We investigate genetic variation associated with risk for disorders such as schizophrenia, depression and autism and behavioural phenomena such as attachment or impulsive violence in a translational approach, with an emphasis on multimodal neuroimaging to identify neural systems mediating genetic risk. The ultimate goal is the construction of a neural risk architecture of the studied target behaviour as guide for the discovery and evaluation of novel treatment strategies.
We are focusing on these major aspects
- Neurogenetic risk mechanisms of depression and anxiety
We study the impact on genetic risk on neural function and cognition using multimodal neuroimaging. A recent focus of that work is the investigation of epistatic interactions, relating multiple genetic variants to neural phenotypes, and the study of neural mechanisms predictive of therapeutic response and course in a longitudinal perspective.
- Neural mechanisms of complex social behaviours under genetic control
Many aspects of social behaviour are highly heritable, are key components of severe psychiatric disorders that are themselves heritable, and are essential for reproductive fitness. Consequently, we have launched a program to investigate genetic contributions to the human social brain.
- Genetic modulation of neural plasticity
The goal of this project is to identify the functional correlates, neurochemical mechanisms and the impact of genomic variation on experimentally induced prefrontal cortical plasticity in the human.
Selection of recent publications
- Oettl LL, Ravi N, Schneider M, Scheller MF, Schneider P, Mitre M, et al. Oxytocin Enhances Social Recognition by Modulating Cortical Control of Early Olfactory Processing. Neuron. 2016;90(3):609-21.
- Millan MJ, Andrieux A, Bartzokis G, Cadenhead K, Dazzan P, Fusar-Poli P, et al. Altering the course of schizophrenia: progress and perspectives. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2016.
- Loth E, Spooren W, Ham LM, Isaac MB, Auriche-Benichou C, Banaschewski T, et al. Identification and validation of biomarkers for autism spectrum disorders. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2016;15(1):70-3.
- Inta D, Lang UE, Borgwardt S, Meyer-Lindenberg A, Gass P. Adult neurogenesis in the human striatum: possible implications for psychiatric disorders. Mol Psychiatry. 2016;21(4):446-7.
- Holz N, Boecker R, Buchmann AF, Blomeyer D, Baumeister S, Hohmann S, et al. Evidence for a Sex-Dependent MAOAx Childhood Stress Interaction in the Neural Circuitry of Aggression. Cereb Cortex. 2016;26(3):904-14.
- Franke B, Stein JL, Ripke S, Anttila V, Hibar DP, van Hulzen KJ, et al. Genetic influences on schizophrenia and subcortical brain volumes: large-scale proof of concept. Nat Neurosci. 2016;19(3):420-31.
- Cao H, Bertolino A, Walter H, Schneider M, Schafer A, Taurisano P, et al. Altered Functional Subnetwork During Emotional Face Processing: A Potential Intermediate Phenotype for Schizophrenia. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016.
- Tost H, Champagne FA, Meyer-Lindenberg A. Environmental influence in the brain, human welfare and mental health. Nat Neurosci. 2015;18(10):1421-31.
- Hibar DP, Stein JL, Renteria ME, Arias-Vasquez A, Desrivieres S, Jahanshad N, et al. Common genetic variants influence human subcortical brain structures. Nature. 2015;520(7546):224-9.
- Stefansson H, Meyer-Lindenberg A, Steinberg S, Magnusdottir B, Morgen K, Arnarsdottir S, et al. CNVs conferring risk of autism or schizophrenia affect cognition in controls. Nature. 2014;505(7483):361-6.