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Research Team

Experimental Neuropsychiatry

About this team

About this team

Presentation

Experimental Neuropsychiatry Research was established in 2004, at Örebro University. The aim was to study the mechanisms of cellular membrane transport of the amino acid tyrosine and tryptophan in schizophrenia and related neuropsychiatric disorders such as bipolar, autism and ADHD. Tyrosine and tryptophan are the precursors of dopamine and serotonin, the brain's most important neurotransmitters, necessary for central nervous system.

Previous research

In a series of studies using the fibroblast cell model,our research group have found an aberrant amino acid transport in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism and ADHD (see publications). These transport aberrations may imply that there is a limited access or an imbalance of essential amino acids tyrosine and tryptophan in the brain, which could lead to disturbances in central neurotransmitters systems. Dopamine and serotonin are the key neurotransmitters in the brain, are powerful regulators in different aspects of cognitive functions and alterations in dopaminergic and serotonergic activity may lead to cognitive and behavioural impairment.

Current working plan and strategies

In recent decades, both clinical and research studies have implicated the role of elevated proinflammatory responses (cytokines), oxidative stress responses and exposure to environmental toxicants in the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders. The influence of these factors on amino acid transporters and neurotransmitter receptors needs to be researched. Orally consumed probiotics, short chain fatty acids as butyrate, can influence the mood, cognition and behavioural patterns of the humans.

Actual focus of research

  • To explore the role and regulatory mechanisms of proinflammatory cytokines, oxidative stress and environmental toxicants in neuropsychiatric disorders: identifying biomarkers and treatment strategies.

  • To develop an antioxidant/probiotic based adjuvant therapy for neuropsychiatric disorders and will also try to develop neurotransmitter receptor functioning and expression based biomarkers for ADHD and autism by using fibroblasts as model cells.

Internal & external collaborations

The group is closely affiliated with the Nutrition-Gut-Brain Interactions Research Centre (NGBI) at Örebro University, and has extensive national and international collaboration with e.g., Karolinska Institute, New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disorders, and SKI Stem Cell Research Facility, Sloan-Kettering Institute, New York (USA), and National Hellenic Research Foundation, Athens (Greece).

Researchers

Research Projects

Research funding bodies