Researchers examining the “Mood, Anxiety, and Impulsivity-related Disorders” theme are aiming to identify the genetic , psychological, neurobiological and environmental causes of most mood disorders and testing the most effective treatments. Their main focus is on:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Personality disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance dependence, e.g. drug or alcohol
  • Suicide

Identifying risk factors and responding effectively

  • Genetic marker: Researchers are attempting to identify genetic risk factors for eating disorders, personality disorders, suicide, alcoholism and substance abuse.
  • Neurobiologial marker: Researchers try to identifiy the neurobiological mechanisms behind depression and anxiety.
  • Psychological marker: People react differently to stress and trauma. For this reason, researchers are currently conducting clinical studies to identify psychological markers, such as personality traits linked to anxiety disorders, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Treatments: Researchers are assessing the effects of specialized interventions in the treatment of different pathologies. They have already shown the usefulness of:
    • early intervention in post-traumatic stress disorder
    • group therapy for panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and social phobia
    • brief intervention for substance abuse in the treatment of first episode psychosis
    • light therapy for burnout and depression
    • specialized interventions in the treatment of eating disorders
    • the use of novel technologies (computer-assisted clinical decision support technology) for the diagnosis and treatment of alcoholism

Key research findings on mood disorders

  • Identification of key genes associated with mood disorders and suicidal behaviour (Gustavo Turecki, PhD)
  • The role of serotonin in eating disorders (Howard Steiger, PhD)
  • The role of endorphins in addictions, especially alcoholism (Christina Gianoulakis, PhD)
  • A pharmacological approach in the treatment of alcoholism (Christina Gianoulakis, PhD)
  • A promising pharmacological approach for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (Alain Brunet, PhD)