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Improving treatment strategies for bipolar disorder by discovery of novel drug target candidates and discriminatory diagnostic biomarkers.

Psychiatric treatment of patients with bipolar disorder is characterized by very low remission and recovery rates due to a high non-responsiveness to all psychopharmacological medication (30-35%). With this project, we aim to optimize treatment strategies for bipolar disorder with or without psychotic symptoms by finding alternative entry points for the development of new mood stabilizing drugs.In order to establish databases of relevant biomarkers as well as putative targets for future development of psychopharmacological drugs, we will conduct a prospective clinical trial in which patients with bipolar disorder with or without psychotic symptoms, will receive electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), the treatment of last resort when other pharmacotherapeutic strategies have failed. In parallel, post-mortem patient brain tissues will be retrospectively investigated. Samples of both research arms will be analyzed by proteomic and metabolomic methodologies using state of the art liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LCMS). Final comparative analyses of differentially expressed proteins, protein networks and metabolic pathways will result in the establishment of drug target candidate (DTC) databases for both types of bipolar disorder. These databases will likely, in follow-up trajectories, lead to the development of novel drugs.
Date:1 May 2020 →  Today
Disciplines:Metabolomics, Proteomics, Biological psychiatry