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Neurobiological Psychiatry

Group: Witte Hoogendijk, Veerle Bergink, Tom Birkenhäger, Mijke van den Berg, Henning Tiemeier and Sabine Roza

The department of Psychiatry of the Erasmus MC is one of the largest university psychiatric departments in The Netherlands. The department has a large inpatient, outpatient and daycare center, for three disease categories:

   1) Peripartum Mental Disorders;

   2) Major Depressive Disorders;

  3) Psychotic Disorders. Most patients admitted to the department also participate in patient-related research.

Overall, this theme combines psychiatric, psychometric, and psychophysiological measurements with genetic and neurobiological (neuroanatomical, neurophysiological and neurochemical) investigations. Emotional and autonomic disturbances are investigated in relation to perceptual, motivational and psychomotor disturbances in adult patients with developmental mental disorders, psychotic disorders, depressive disorders or pre- and postpartum mental disorders. In addition, the effectiveness of neurobiological interventions, like psychopharmacological and electroconvulsive therapy, is investigated, related to genetic mechanisms.

In addition, the effectiveness of neurobiological interventions, like psychopharmacological and electroconvulsive therapy, is investigated, related to genetic mechanisms.


BrainDescription research
The main focus of research of the Peripartum Mental Disorders group is the neurobiology and phenomenology of postpartum psychosis. Also, mother-child interaction in postpartum psychosis (mania) and depression is studied in relation to the effectiveness of our treatment programs (daycare treatment and postpartum prophylactic program).

The Major Depressive Disorders group has done and continues to do research on the efficacy of neurobiological interventions, like psychopharmacological and electroconvulsive therapy. A recent project aims at optimalisation of ECT and prevention of relapse and recurrence after successful ECT in depressed patients. Another study focuses on comparing venlafaxine with imipramine, with lithium addition as second treatment step in case of unsatisfactory response.

The Psychotic Disorders group currently focuses on the emotional and neuropsychological disturbances in patients with schizophrenia, using fMRI. Recently, we started the ‘Interventions for Behavioral and Emotional Risk Reduction in Youth’ (iBerry) study. There are three key rationales that guided our design:

   1) Psychosocial and biological paradigms should be integrated when examining the long-term prognosis of sub-threshold symptomatology in adolescents;

   2) For identification of at-risk individuals and early interventions, all psychiatric disorders should be studied in concert;

   3) Identification of and interventions in high-risk adolescents need targeted approaches for the parents as well. iBerry is one of the wonderful examples of our new collaboration with Prof. Henning Tiemeier and his group.

 

Research group Witte Hoogendijk

Faculty PhD Students Staff
Dr. V. Bergink Drs. W.T.C.J. Heijnen N.J. Westerbeek
Dr. T.K. Birkenhager Drs. S.F.L.M. van Jaarsveld Drs. D.C. Bouter
Dr. P.F. Bouvy Drs. N.M. Molenaar Drs. L.J. de Landgraaf
Dr. W.W. van den Broek Drs. E.M. Pluijms Drs. N.G.M. de Neve- Enthoven
Dr. M.P. Lambregtse-van den Berg Drs. L. van Ravensteyn E.M. Zervos
Dr. R.J. Osse Drs. M.A. van Schijndel  
Drs. E.M. Pluijms Drs. M. Vermeiden  
Dr. S.J. Roza Drs. E.M.P. Poels  
Drs. M.A. van Schijndel Drs. P.J. Caarls  
  Drs. J.Gilden