first published March 27, 2012 "The Lundbeck Foundation’s Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research (iPSYCH)" Updated April 9, 2012
via The Lundbeck Foundation:
Record-breaking grant: New research project to investigate the causes of mental disorders
Is it possible to prevent the development of schizophrenia? Can certain patients develop autism if they carry a specific gene and have been exposed to a viral fetal infection? Should all ADHD patients take the same type of medication?
This unique research project will try to answer these questions. The project is based at Aarhus University and will be known as ‘The Lundbeck Foundation’s Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research’ (iPSYCH). The grant of DKK 121 million from the Lundbeck Foundation is the largest grant ever awarded to Danish psychiatric research.
”We will investigate why some people develop mental disorders. We will identify biological disease mechanisms, and we also intend to provide the basis for better treatment and prevention”, says Dr. Børglum, Professor of Medical Genetics at Aarhus University and Scientific Director of the research project.
The many faces of psychiatry
The project will study five specific mental disorders: schizophrenia, manic depression, depression, autism and ADHD. All disorders are associated with major human and societal costs all over the world. The new thing is that researchers will study these disorders from many different angles, ranging from genes and cells to population studies, from fetus to adult, from cause to symptoms of the disorder, and this knowledge will be combined in new ways across scientific fields.
“People suffering from a mental disorder such as schizophrenia may have very different lives: a family life with children and a job – or a life characterized by chronic disease and homelessness. The disorders do not affect all patients in exactly the same way. We do not know why, but we do know that our current treatment methods are far from optimal because we need more knowledge about the causes behind the disorders, but also about the differences in the development”, says Dr. Børglum.
”Our main goal is to identify the causes of these disorders by studying the interplay between genetic and environmental factors and thereby find new targets for treatment. The perspective is to offer better and individualized treatment, providing a better life for each individual patient with the disorder – and perhaps even ways to prevent the development of the disorder in some cases”, he says.
Professor Mikael Rørth, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Lundbeck Foundation, is pleased with the research opportunities that the new grant will offer:
”Mental disorders are determined by a combination of genetic and psycho-social factors. The research project will combine unique Danish registers and biobanks and is expected to pave the way for better treatment in the future”, says Dr. Rørth.
iPSYCH consists of leading researchers within psychiatry, genetics and register-based research. The team collaborates with e.g. the SSI (Statens Serum Institut) under the Danish Ministry of Health, Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI), deCode Genetics in Iceland and the Genetic Biobank of the Faroe Islands. In combination, this will provide unique opportunities for creating ground breaking new knowledge, which may result in better and more individualized treatment of patients by considering genetic profile, environmental factors and clinical symptoms in combination.
The iPSYCH project team consists of the following researchers:
Professor Anders Børglum, Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital (Scientific Director of iPSYCH): firstname.lastname@example.org; tel: 8716 7768 or 60202720
Professor Ole Mors, Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital: email@example.com; tel: 7847 1166
Professor Preben Bo Mortensen, Aarhus University: firstname.lastname@example.org; tel:. 8716 5359
Professor Thomas Werge, Mental Health Services in the Capital Region of Denmark: email@example.com; tel: 4633 4968
Professor Merete Nordentoft, Mental Health Services in the Capital Region of Denmark: firstname.lastname@example.org; tel: 3531 6239.
Anne-Marie Engel, Director of Research, the Lundbeck Foundation: email@example.com;
tel: 3912 8000. here
via Mad in America
Fe Fi Fo Fum, I Smell the Wiff of a Eugenics Drum! by Olga Runciman
a brief excerpt:
"That pharmaceutical companies finance research is not new and neither is it surprising that a company whose major profits arise from psychiatric drugs would want to finance research in precisely that area. What is of interest though, is who will be doing the research, and one person is notable. A person who has created controversy in his claims of having found the genetic cause for schizophrenia and especially his statements regarding the future possibility of being able to identify and thus giving prospective parents the option of aborting ‘schizophrenic’ foetuses.
"Region Hovedstadens Psykiatri (Mental Health Services of the Capital Region of Denmark) announced without compunction “The Mystery of Schizophrenia Solved” a very bold statement indeed, considering they represent the psychiatric system. Interestingly, they were also the only ones to state with absolute certainty in 2008 that the mystery of schizophrenia was solved. Not only did they make this statement, but they featured an interview with Werge on his research findings, “These results give science a basis to think differently and to go new ways. We now know what we have always believed is true. The illness is a biological illness of the individual and not a reaction to a sick society as has been claimed in the 1960’s and 1970’s by anti-psychiatry. Therefore, we can for the first time contemplate biological diagnosis such as prenatal screening. This is a whole new way of thinking within this area of psychiatry and necessitates that we proceed extremely carefully and in a responsible manner.”[iii]" read here