Issue no. 2

A Mouse Model that Recapitulates Cardinal Features of the 15q13.3 Microdeletion Syndrome

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Michelle Rosgaard Birknow, MSc in Biomedical Engineering, Industrial PhD Student, H. Lundbeck A/S,

In this study, researchers have, for the first time, generated a genetic mouse model of the 15q13.3 microdeletion syndrome and characterized it with focus on schizophrenia- and epilepsy-relevant parameters. This model serves as a starting point towards achieving a better understanding of disease mechanisms as well as development of translational assays, which can be used to identify novel drug targets for schizophrenia and epilepsy. Read more.

Study of neonatal inflammatory markers and later risk of schizophrenia

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Philip Rising Nielsen, Postdoc, National Centre of Register-based Research, Aarhus University

In maternal sera, cytokine levels have been documented to be different, depending on whether the offspring develop schizophrenia later in life. As neither the neonate’s immune system nor brain is yet fully developed we thought it of prime importance to investigate cytokine levels in neonates. In this paper no association between neonatal inflammatory markers and later risk of schizophrenia was found. Such are the results of a new study by iPSYCH scientists from Aarhus University and Statens Serum Institut. Read more

Analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs may have an impact on depression

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Ole Köhler, MD-studet Aarhus University Hospital, Risskov and Aarhus University

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have adjunctive antidepressant treatment effects when used in combination with antidepressants. This has been shown in the largest ever meta-analysis conducted by researchers from Aarhus University and the University of Copenhagen. Future studies now need to identify subgroups of depressed patients that may benefit of this intervention. Read more.

Pathway studies confirm known mechanisms and suggest several novel insights into the etiology of psychiatric disorders

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Manuel Mattheisen, Associate Professor, Dept. of Biomedicine, Aarhus University

Two large collaborative efforts co-lead by researchers from MooDS, iPSYCH and the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) find evidence of aggregation of risk variants in biological pathways.  Furthermore, evidence was found that these pathways are frequently shared between the psychiatric disorders under study. Among the biological processes of importance across schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression are histone methylation, multiple immune and neuronal signalling pathways, as well as postsynaptic density. Read more.

Delay in blood sampling for routine newborn screening is associated with increased risk of schizophrenia

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Janne Tidselbak Larsen, Research Assistant, National Centre of Register-based Research, Aarhus University

We published a paper in Schizophrenia Research showing that children, who had their blood sample taken for the Danish Neonatal Screening Biobank (DNSB) taken at day 10 after birth or later, had an increased risk of schizophrenia later in life. This strange finding persisted even after control for a long range of possible confounding factors such as socioeconomic status, family history of mental illness or child admission to somatic department right after birth. It indicates that delayed neonatal blood sampling is associated with some hitherto unexplained risk factors for schizophrenia, related to conditions in the child or the parents associated with late blood sampling. Read more.