The Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases



  • How to recover from a psychotic episode Faced with major stress, some people are momentarily being swept away from reality. Rapid cares can prevent chronicization of psychotic episode. Philippe Conus explains the causes, the symptoms and how to recover.
    Le Matin
    Planète Santé

  • CHUV relocates psychiatric consultations to downtown Lausanne La Place Chauderon will be the new place to treat mental disorders at Lausanne with the creation of a new clinic. According to Professor Philippe Conus, Head of the CHUV Department of General Psychiatry and member of Synapsy, this new policlinic will allow a better coordination of care. “Many patients are scared by Cery, and don’t want to go there”, he said in his interview.


  • Depression: blues or evil of the century? More than 6% of the Swiss population suffer from depression. French-speaking Swiss cantons are more affected by the disease. Martin Preisig explains that the rate of depression is correlated with the extend of urbanization, which is dense in the oriental part of Switzerland.

  • From the couch to electroshock Antidepressants, acupuncture, psychotherapy, electroshock… Depressive people can choose between a large range of techniques to be treated. Physicians, on the other hand, have a global approach and try to adapt the treatment to each patient. Martin Preisig talk about antidepressants.

  • Screening for mental illnesses before diagnosis Research Center of the University Institute of Mental Health of Quebec (CRIUSMQ) has obtained nearly $30 millions to help detecting the warning signs of neurological and psychiatric diseases. The head of the research chair, Pierre Marquet, speaks about it.
    Journal de Québec

  • A private initiative to help autistic children The creation of social qualification groups such as those invented by two vaudoises mothers of autistic kids are among the flagship strategies of Claudia Chabane’s fight against autism.

  • The basis of learning processes Highlight on the last Nature Neuroscience publication review of Anthony Holmaat and Pico Caroni. The paper discuss the concept of neuronal assemblies that links fundamental aspects of neuronal plasticity with behavioral learning and memory processes.
    Journal de l’UNIGE – no 123 (p.5)


  • Lights on the cerebral circuits of fear The Parisian Institute of Brain and Spinal Cord (ICM) invites Andreas Lüthi for a conference on optogenetics. Le Monde newspaper explains this powerful tool to the general public with the help of Andreas Lüthi « the star of the optogenic », they said.
    Le Monde

  • Early care for autistic patients Stephan Eliez describes the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) to treat autistic children.
    RTS1 tv, Le 19h30

  • The secret of memory Memory disorders, hypermnesia, links with music, memory of plants and animals were approached in seven episodes. Traumatic memory and post-traumatic stress syndrome were summarized with Daniel Schechter and Johannes Gräff.
    RTS radio, La Première – CQFD
    Also, Micah Murray clarifies what happens in our brain during memory tasks. Avis d’Experts

  • How context influences memories and behavior
    Andreas Lüthi has identified two neuronal circuits that mediate the association of contextual information with emotional memories.
    FMI news


  • International partners working together on psychiatry The links between UNIL and Laval University (Québec) intensified through the launch of a joint international unit in neurodevelopment and child psychiatry involving Pierre Marquet.

  • Sugar addiction Dependence to sugar is as strong as addiction to tobacco, cocaine or alcohol, Christian Lüscher paraphrase in the newspaper.
    Le Matin Dimanche


  • Bipolar disorder conference Announcement of Martin Preisig’s public lecture on bipolar disorder and its transmission to families. Montbenon Casino, January 23, 2017.
    Temps Libre

  • Antioxydants and schizophrenia The blog creapharma mentions a Kim Do’s study on antioxidants and their involvement in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

  • The potential benefits of optical illusions on the human brain Bogdan Draganski communicates on his partnership with an artist to understand and perhaps treat some psychiatric disorders.
    RTS1 tv, Le 19h30

  • An interview with François Ansermet He throws light on the psychiatry of children and adolescents at the Swiss radio.
    RTS radio, La Première – CQFD

  • Brain and virtual reality (VR) Olaf Blanke shows how the brain receives heartbeat signals to produce bodily self-consciousness.
    EPFL News

  • Back to school Stephan Eliez gives advice to parents and their kids to succeed at school.
    La Tribune de Genève

  • To the origins of schizophrenia Kim Do and Philippe Conus detail recent improvement of the understanding of the genetic and environmental factors involved in schizophrenia.
    InVivo (via FR)


  • Ideas to products The Synapsy KTT officer Sylvain Lengacher explains the main problems academicians are facing with when transferring technologies.
    InVivo (via FR)

  • Future health biobank for bipolar disorder A collaborative work between Paris and Geneva will generate a database on bipolar disorder for research and treatment purposes. Jean-Michel Aubry is interviewed about it.

  • Virtual reality and technology transfer Tej Tadi’s startup uses virtual reality to assist the rehabilitation of patients with neurological disorders. A work inspired by Synapsy member Olaf Blanke.

  • Heart consultation Stephanie Clarke explains how training the brain to discriminate sounds can improve the diagnosis of cardiac disease.
    CHUV News

  • Startup Amazentis inspired by Carmen Sandi Patrick Aebischer’s startup Amazentis uses pomegranate extract derivatives to restore muscle aging. A technology transfer issued from the collaborative work of the Synapsy member Carmen Sandi.

  • Odor discrimination Last work of Alan Carleton, published in Nature Communication, describes how neural cells of the olfactory bulb discriminates between odors.
    UNIGE News


  • Curing mental illness The key role of Jean-Michel Aubry and the Fondamental Foundation in scientific cooperation and exchanges with Geneva’s hospitals highlighted.

  • VIIIPs are teaching addiction Martin Preisig is a Very Intriguing Interactive and Inspiring Professionals (VIIIP). He is participating in the VIIIP conferences to bring other visions and other conceptualizations of clinical problems related to addiction.

  • The role of SHANK3 in autism Latest work of Camilla Bellone, published in Nature Neuroscience, shows that SHANK3 controls maturation of social reward circuits in the VTA.
    EPFL News

  • Forecast and human behavior Martin Preisig explains why forecast influence our mood.
    Tribune de Genève

  • Video Games Stephan Eliez interviewed about video games. The tv show was also mentioned and commented by the Pixel association, an association of video gamer.
    RTS1 tv – Temps Présent
    Pixel association

  • France Inter radio inspired by Synapsy members The French radio France Inter keep on referring to the book by Pierre Magistretti and François Ansermet “A chacun son cerveau” in its scientific show “Sur les épaules de Darwin”.
    France Inter, June 18th
    France Inter, June 11th

  • Universal need of love Daniel Schechter and its team explain why the need of love can turn to an obsessive behavior. A real disorder that originates from the parent-child relationship.
    RTS1 tv – 36.9°

  • Burn-out among children is underdiagnosed Exhaustion spares no one, not even children who are struggling more and more as school students, sometimes until failure. Stephan Eliez, child psychiatrist and director of the Office Médico-pédagogique in Geneva, speaks about this malaise, still taboo.
    Migros Magazine

  • Interview between Synapsy members Pierre Magistretti and François Ansermet received Olaf Blanke during a video interview for the Agalma association.
    Association Agalma

  • A race for decoding the brain Great press article in Le Temps newspaper talking about worldwide research project aiming to moralize the human brain. Synapsy members are questioned about those projects.
    Le Temps

  • Summer mood Depressive behavior related to the coming of the summer time explained by Martin Preisig.
    Migros Magazine

  • Saturated psychiatry Curabilis and Belle-Idée units are overloaded. The head of Geneva’s psychiatry and Synapsy member Jean-Michel Aubry talks about urgent reforms.
    Le Courrier

  • Children exhaustion Exhaustion spares no one, not even children, who are struggling more and more at school, sometimes to failure. Stephan Eliez pinpoints a real taboo.
    Arrêt sur info
    Epfl News
    Migros Magazine


  • Collective creativity to cure mental diseases Pierre Magistretti discusses opportunities to develop new strategies for integration of neuroscience with psychiatry and possible novel approaches to innovate medicines for mental diseases at the Brain Forum.
    EPFL News

  • Accelerate synaptic plasticity Ralf Schneggenburger’s lab last publication reveals that synapses in the hindbrain switch synaptotagmin isoforms as a strategy for optimizing speed and plasticity. To read in Neuron.
    EPFL News

  • The Brain Forum  Director of the Brain Mind Institute, Carmen Sandi explains the importance of exploring the brain.
    Le Matin

  • LSD, in the heart of the brain Bogdan Draganski (LREN) shows the areas of the brain affected by use of LSD.
    RTS1 tv – Le 19h30

  • Brain and cardiac activity The brain is equipped with a sensory filter which prevents cardiac activity to interfere with external sensations. Researches from Olaf Blanke’s team.
    20 minutes
    Daily mail
    RTS radio, La Première – CQFD

  • Use several of his senses to improve memory Micah Murray, multisensory interactions expert, conduct research related to many areas, ranging from blindness to memory.
    Allez Savoir, UNIL





  • Reading thoughts and translate them into action is no longer science fiction Two methods of detecting neural signals could enable severely disabled people to interact with their environment only by thought. Christoph Michel explains his MAIA project.
    Le Temps

  • Anxiety: A head full of worries Often defines as simple character trait, generalized anxiety disorder is now recognized as a disease that affects nearly 300,000 people in Switzerland. Damien Huzard, PhD student from Carmen Sandi’s lab, talks about their findings (from 18’26”).
    Canal9 tv

  • Optogenetics: opening new horizons in therapeutic deep brain stimulation Christian Lüscher’s researches with light.
    Revue Médicale Suisse
    Flash EPFL
    Yahoo! News
    RTS radio, La Première – CQFD

  • Memory is based on interneurons Pico Caroni’s group found that the plasticity of parvalbumin basket cells ensure long-term memory formation.
    FMI News