Around 800,000 people in Germany suffer from schizophrenia. Nevertheless, this mental illness is not as well researched as depression or dementia. A new, large-scale research project is set to change this. On 12 May 2015 at the specialized clinic for psychiatry and psychotherapy “LVR-Klinik” in Düren, Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Rachel together with representatives of the brain research alliance JARA-BRAIN officially launched the research project “APIC – Antipsychotic-induced structural and functional changes in the brain”. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is providing APIC with funding worth € 4 million.
Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness which can manifest itself in many different forms. This makes accurate diagnostics even more important: it is the only way for the best possible, individually defined therapies to be selected for each patient. But according to JARA-BRAIN scientist PD Dr. Irene Neuner, there is still some room for improvement: “Around 30 % of therapies are currently ineffective.” TRIMAGE, which the psychiatrist is involved with, will help change this.
A joint meeting of the Search Committees will be held on 10 April 2015 at Forschungszentrum Jülich to discuss the appointment of the future JARA directors. On this occasion, the JARA-BRAIN scientists and candidates for the posts of director Prof. Ute Habel, Prof. Kerstin Konrad, Prof. Frank Schneider, and Prof. Jörg B. Schulz will present the research priorities of the future institutes as well as insights into their own research work.
The acoustic CR neuromodulation method developed by JARA-BRAIN scientist Prof. Peter Tass is a promising treatment. This method disturbs the synchronous firing of the neurons by using electrical stimulation. Recent research work has now shown that this therapeutic approach can be improved by incorporating sufficiently long pauses between the stimulation of the neurons even if very weak stimulations are used.