Project: Linking synaptic dysfunction to disease mechanisms in schizophrenia - a multi-level investigation

Duration 30/04/2019 - 30/04/2020
Project Topic Schizophrenia (SZ) is a serious mental illness characterized by frequent episodes of hallucination, delusions, and cognitive disabilities. SZ represents one of the major challenges for society, with large unmet patient needs and substantial health care costs. Synaptic dysfunction has recently been implicated in the pathophysiology of SZ, yet the precise mechanisms remain elusive. The SYNSCHIZ project targets synaptic dysfunction at multiple levels of investigation, from its genetic underpinnings through experimental investigation of electrophysiological properties in stem cell derived neurons and advanced mathematical modeling up to the level of brain network dysfunction in individuals with SZ. Thus, SYNSCHIZ aims to uncover how SZ risk genes yield aberrant neuronal excitability and brain connectivity to determine novel pathways and mechanisms. Furthermore, the project has a strong translational focus to transfer scientific discoveries into clinical applications, aiming at identification of clinically useful biomarkers. To reach these ambitious aims, our transdisciplinary network of scientific experts will provide synergy by performing a series of integrated collaborative studies. Thus, we will gain novel knowledge and ensure it will be applied in clinical settings. Our multi-level investigations will substantially improve our understanding of the pathophysiology of SZ and stimulate new developments for treatment and potential prevention of mental illness.
Network NEURON Cofund
Call Call for Proposals for Research Projects on "Synaptic Dysfunction in Disorders of the Central Nervous System"

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 University of Oslo Coordinator Norway
2 Central Institute of Mental Health Partner Germany
3 University of Basel Partner Switzerland
4 Tampere University of Technology Partner Finland
5 Radboud University Medical Center Partner Netherlands
6 Prof. Dr. Alex Obregia Clinical Hospital of Psychiatry Partner Romania