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supervised_user_circle Department of Psychiatry, Erasmus MC, Dr. Molewaterplein 40, 3015 GD Rotterdam
supervised_user_circle Neurobiological Laboratory, Erasmus MC (Faculty building; Ee1428 - 1442), Dr. Molewaterplein 50, 3015 GE Rotterdam
Neurobiological Psychiatry
Neurobiological
  • Steven Kushner
  • Witte Hoogendijk, et al.
  • Willem Verhoeven

Group Steven Kushner

Group Steven Kushner

Description research

The underlying neurobiology of psychiatric disorders remains largely enigmatic, owing to a combination of the complexity of the central nervous system as well as technical limitations in studying the brain.

However, emerging scientific advances in neuroscience, genetics, epidemiology, and cell biology have created unique opportunities for understanding normal brain function and the psychopathological consequences of its dysfunction.

Our approach has been to establish a research program where clinicians and clinical researchers are working side-by-side with neuroscientists, geneticists, and epidemiologists to study neuropsychiatric illnesses and neurobiological circuit mechanisms from their cellular and genetic basis to social and cognitive function.


Research group Steven Kushner

Faculty Post-docs PhD Students Staff
Prof. Dr. S.A. Kushner Dr. J. Aleknaviciute Drs. B. Lendemeijer M.A. Caspers
Dr. J.H.M. Tulen Dr. C. Bouwkamp Drs. I.M.S. Marcelo M. van der Kroeg
Dr. F.M.S. de Vrij Dr. N. Gunhanlar Drs. S.T. Munshi Ing. D.E. Slump
  Dr. G. Shpak Drs. J. Stedehouder  
    Drs. R. Wesseloo  

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.

Group Witte Hoogendijk

Description 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, et al.

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  

Group: Willem Verhoeven

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.

A separate group focuses on the behavioural phenotypes in mentally retarded patients with psychiatric symptoms and/or behavioural abnormalities, with special emphasis on the relationship between genetic aetiology and dimensions of symptoms.

Group Willem Verhoeven

Description research

The main topics under investigation are the interaction between genes, brain and behaviour, functional/dimensional psychiatric diagnosis and neurobiological aspects of psychoses.

The first theme covers in particular the study of the so called behavioural and psychopathological phenotypes i.e. the presence of a specific profile of development, behaviour and (atypical) psychiatric symptoms in genetic disorders such as e.g. Prader-Willi syndrome, 22q11 deletion syndrome and 9q subtelomeric deletion syndrome.

The second theme comprises the dissection of a psychopathological syndrome in combinations of symptoms that may reflect disturbances in neurobiological systems like dopamine dysfunction in apathy syndrome and increased vulnerability to stress related symptoms in patients with intellectual disabilities.

Finally, the neurobiology of psychoses is studied by means of among others measurement of neurotrophic peptides, neopterin and amino acid profile. For diagnostic purposes, not only DSM-IV and ICD-10 criteria are used but also the criteria as proposed by Leonhard, particularly those of the cycloid psychoses.

Research group Willem Verhoeven

Faculty PhD Students
Dr. J.I.M. Egger Drs. I. Dary-Ouwens
Dr. M. Schneider Drs. N.W.A. van de Kerkhof
Prof. Dr. W.M.A. Verhoeven Drs. P. Steylen
Drs. P.A.M. Wingbermühle  
Seminar
Seminars'No meeting'

Wetenschapslunch Psychiatry on Monday February 25th at 12 h in CQ1, Dp-Building
Presenter:


As a new PhD candidate you will be faced with a range of challenges, and above all, new opportunities! This brochure is an information guide, to pave the way for a successful PhD period.

With a population of over 600,000, Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands and the centre of the Rotterdam-The Hague metropolis. It's famous for its port, one of the biggest in Europe. The River Maas runs through our 'skyscraper city' with its innovative architecture. Behind the modern skyline, you'll find a nice, even 'cosy' historic city centre.