PhD Conferral Mrs. Esther D.A. van Duin, MSc.
Supervisors: prof.dr. T. van Amelsvoort, prof.dr. J. Booij, UvA
Co-supervisor: dr. D. Hernaus
Keywords: mental disorders, psychosis, 22q11DS, dopamine, reward sensitivity, cortisol, stress, frontal lobe
"Dancing in the (B)rain’; neurobiology of reward, stress & Information processing in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome"
Although approximately 1 in 4 people is affected by mental disorders at some point in their lives, the causes of these disorders are largely unknown. Two components play an important role, namely genetic and environmental risk factors (nature and nurture). This interdisciplinary dissertation was aimed at identifying causes of psychiatric problems and determining the role of (neuro)biological and environmental factors. The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome was studied. This is an unknown yet common genetic syndrome with a prevalence of 1 in approximately 3,000 people. This syndrome is one of the main risk factors for developing mental symptoms. Disorders that may be associated with 22q11DS include psychotic disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, and developmental conditions such as autism and ADHD. According to this study, the brain of adults with 22q11DS shows abnormal (neurobiological) mechanisms of stress (cortisol), reward sensitivity (dopamine) and information processing. These abnormalities may explain why people with 22q11DS are at high risk of developing psychiatric problems.