The Dysregulated Brain: A psychoimmunological approach to bipolar disorder

Haarman, B. C. M. 2017 [Groningen]: University of Groningen. 255 p.

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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An important problem with psychiatric disorders is that much remains unknown about the underlying disease mechanisms, thereby delaying sometimes for many years the diagnosis bipolar disorder, with significant implications for treatment.
In recent years, the neuroinflammation theory, which assumes that bipolar disorder is amongst others caused by an inflammatory response in the brain, has gained attention. In his thesis Benno Haarman demonstrates by means of positron emission tomography (PET) an actual dysregulation of the immune system in the brain of patients with bipolar disorder. PET is an imaging technique, which is used to examine the function of an organ with radioactive tracers. Benno Haarman compared neuroinflammation-PET images of the brain between patients and healthy persons and showed immune activation in the hippocampus of patients with bipolar disorder. This finding provides an important basis for further research into the disease mechanisms of bipolar disorder.
In the subsequent studies, Benno Haarman investigated the relationship between the function of immune cells and the condition of nerve cells with magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and the effect of lithium, which is often used for treatment of bipolar disorder, on the connecting tracts in the brain with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of patients with bipolar disorder. Prior to the imaging research, Benno Haarman investigated the relationship between inflammation-related gene expression in cells of the immune system and psychiatric symptoms with a novel graphical 'feature-expression heat map' method he developed himself. For this achievement he received the Samuel Gershon Award from the International Society for Bipolar Disorders in 2013.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
Award date1-Mar-2017
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-824638-1-1
Electronic ISBNs978-90-824638-2-8
StatePublished - 2017

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