Translational neuroimaging studies on genotype-phenotype relationships in the longitudinal course of psychosis
The major aim of this research project is the targeted investigation of specific neuroimaging markers and phenotypes both longitudinally in samples of schizophrenic and bipolar patients (and matched healthy controls) as well as in an independent sample of young healthy subjects, which is fundamental for the investigation of genetic effects on these markers independent of pathological changes. We use both structural and functional neuroimaging with a set of established experimental psychological task paradigms in order to determine neuroimaging markers that are associated with schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorder and that are considered as predictive for the clinical course of the disorders. The same neuroimaging techniques will be combined with genetic analyses in order to investigate genetic markers that are associated with these neuroimaging phenotypes and/or the longitudinal course of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. These investigations will provide further important insight into core pathophysiological processes and genetic factors involved in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and will foster both research into the pathogenesis of major psychoses and the development of innovative therapeutic strategies for individual patients.