NCCR-Synapsy

The Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases

No clinical work without understanding the basics

Silvia Monari explains the difficult choice she had to make between medicine and life sciences when deciding on what direction her studies would take. Silvia tells us how she intends to detect biomarkers of disease and possible therapeutic intervention for Read more…


Mapping the emotional management of trauma

Trauma can induce fear pathologies, which are treated using psychotherapeutic approaches whose brain pathways have recently been identified. Fear leaves traces in the brain, and remembering it causes a feeling of discomfort. During extreme trauma—such as the shock of war, Read more…


Tracking neurogliaform cells and their role in the cortical microcircuit

Studying neurogliaform-type interneurons involves the five key elements of stress-related pathologies: brain development, the prefrontal cortex, serotonergic pathway, interneurons and plasticity. Here’s how.   Experience constantly alters the activity of the brain and the structure of the neural networks. Known Read more…


Neural signature of trait anxiety

The neurological basis of trait anxiety, a risk factor for the development of neuropsychiatric diseases, revealed by Synapsy researchers. Trait anxiety is a personality dimension related to the extent to which events are perceived as potentially threatening. The identification of Read more…


Maternal exposure to violence and child psychopathology

Synapsy has been following the children of mothers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder due to interpersonal violence since they were 12 months of age. They are now reaching maturity, just like research projects designed to understand and treat stress-related disorders. Read more…


Editorial – Synapsy and Genetics: an Adventure Ahead

by Alexandre Dayer   From a historical perspective, early hypotheses about risk genes in psychiatry were based on candidate gene approaches and were largely incorrect. These studies were performed in small-sized cohorts and led to a replication crisis. However, in Read more…


Genetics and psychiatry: Using Genetic Variants to Stratify the Enormous Heterogeneity of Patients

Genetic variants have an effect on our appearance, functioning and health. Synapsy is taking a detailed look at their association with psychiatric illness phenotypes. Following the success of the first two Synapsy phases, the time has come to begin to Read more…


Kerstin Von Plessen – Treatments Based on Self-Regulation

Kerstin von Plessen studies early biomarkers and potential resilience pathways for treating neurodevelopmental illnesses – areas that require a translational approach. As well as being a full professor in the Faculty of Biology and Medicine at the University of Lausanne Read more…


Empowerment: Three Questions for Bita Moghaddam

Bita Moghaddam is a full professor at Oregon Health and Science University where she holds the Chair of the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience. In the past 26 years, she focused her research on the modeling aspects of psychiatric disorders. Last Read more…