Research within the area of psychotic disorders within the UMC Utrecht Brain Center is focused on the early detection of psychotic disorders and bipolar disorder in individuals. We assess environmental and genetic risk factors as well as their interactions. Every effort is made to enable early diagnosis before disease symptoms and cognitive decline have begun.
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We aim to improve the current treatment protocols for patients with a psychotic disorder. To this purpose trials are undertaken to improve treatment with antipsychotic medication. We also utilize add-on strategies; such as anti-inflammatory agents, and work to investigate non-pharmacological treatments such as physical exercise or transcranial magnetic stimulation.
We investigate the efficacy of preventive measures such as psycho-education, stress-management, CBT and reduction of the pro-inflammatory status in individuals at high risk to develop psychotic disorders.
This group includes individuals such as the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, and children with the 22Q11 deletion syndrome and/or children/adolescents who hear voices.
A crucial aim of this research group is the better understanding of the pathophysiology of positive, cognitive and negative symptoms of psychotic disorders using neuro-imaging, genetics and behavioral studies.