Mood, Anxiety and Trauma

Research theme: Rehabilitation and Prevention
Clinical pillar: Mood, Anxiety and Trauma

Research within this crossroad focuses on prevention and treatment strategies for affective and mood disorders, with a special focus on youth, improving the currently available healthcare and developing novel interventions for mood and anxiety disorders. We additionally investigate mechanisms of vulnerability/resilience to mood and affective disorders, as well as mechanisms of therapy (and non-response). Techniques include experience sampling, experimental studies, physiology and neuroimaging. 

In addition, applied ethical and conceptual research is covered with this crossroad, a line of work that heavily relies on philosophical reasoning and empirical qualitative studies. Recent work in this domain has studied the social and ethical implications of scientific research on biomarkers and neuromodulation in various conditions (most prominently Conduct disorder (CD) & Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), psychopathy, addiction, Tourette’s syndrome, and self-control, with work on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and other conditions to follow in the upcoming future). 

Unique contributions and highlights

Recent projects embedded in this research crossroad focuses on affect, well-being, and genetic liability to psychopathology (“TwinsScan”), improving youth access to health care in general, and in particular for specific high-risk subgroups such as young people with intellectual disabilities, a refugee background or parents with mental health problems (@ease), the effect of diet on prevention and treatment of psychiatric problems, mechanisms of therapy for youth with mild psychopathology (Smartscan), and CO2 inhalation as an interceptive exposure therapy for panic attacks.

The applied and conceptual neuro-ethics research at this crossroad focuses on the ethics of prevention and intervention in various mental health areas (neuromodulation, (youth) antisocial behaviour, addiction and dementia).