Stress-related psychopathology

HEALTH INFORMATION

Stress and common biological mechanisms of psychotic and mood disorders

WHAT WE KNOW

Psychotic disorders (e.g., schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder) and mood disorders (e.g., bipolar disorder, major depression) are known to share genetic vulnerabilities and environmental risk factors that affect brain function and cognition. Our multidisciplinary approach to understanding the stress-related neurobiology of these severe and disabling psychiatric conditions sees collaboration among experts in cognition, neuroimaging, genetics, and bioinformatics working together on a number of specific projects which are listed below according to funding received.

OUR LATEST RESEARCH

Imaging Genetics in Psychosis Study

The Imaging-Genetics in Psychosis study aims to determine common stress-related pathology among schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients, in association with shared genetic vulnerabilities, cognitive deficits, and brain phenotypes.

Epistatic genetic effects on brain structure in schizophrenia

This project uses data from the Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank to determine interactive genetic effects on brain structure and cognition in schizophrenia.

Epigenetic and childhood trauma in psychotic and mood disorder

This project examines epigenetic (methylation) markers of childhood trauma in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients.

Childhood trauma and inflammatory markers

This project examines immune and stress response markers in association with epigenetic markers and brain structure/function in psychotic disorders.

What else is happening in Stress-related psychopathology research at NeuRA?

FEEL THE BUZZ IN THE AIR? US TOO.

'I've got the best job for you dad. Your shaky arm will be perfect for it!'

Children… honest and insightful. Their innocence warms the heart. But what words do you use to explain to a child that daddy has an incurable brain disease? What words tell them that in time he may not be able to play football in the park, let alone feed himself? What words help them understand that in the later stages, dementia may also strike? Aged just 36, this was the reality that faced Steve Hartley. Parkinson's disease didn't care he was a fit, healthy, a young dad and devoted husband. It also didn't seem to care his family had no history of it. The key to defeating Parkinson's disease is early intervention, and thanks to a global research team, led by NeuRA, we're pleased to announce that early intervention may be possible. Your support, alongside national and international foundations Shake it Up Australia and the Michael J Fox Foundation, researchers have discovered that a special protein, found in people with a family history of the disease increases prior to Parkinson’s symptoms developing. This is an incredible step forward, because it means that drug therapies, aimed at blocking the increase in the protein, can be administered much earlier – even before symptoms strike. The next step is to understand when to give the drug therapies and which people will most benefit from it. But we need your help. A gift today will support vital research and in time help medical professionals around the world treat Parkinson’s disease sooner, with much better health outcomes. Thank you, in advance, for your support.  
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