Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy
At our department and within the DZPP, we address research questions with regard to etiology, developmental course, therapy and prevention of neuropsychiatric disorders with the onset in childhood and adolescence. Our main interests cover attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety disorders, and autism. Methodologically the working groups comprise several working groups with focus on a) neurobiology (genetics, zebrafish model, cell models), b) brain physiology and structure (MRI,EEG,TMS, transcranial sonography), c) clinical and experimental psychotherapy and prevention research and outcome prediction, d) therapeutic drug monitoring and pharmacovigilance. Our research is funded by the BMBF, DFG, BfArM, Innofonds and IZKF, and characterized by close interdisciplinary collaborations with e.g. Psychiatry, Biological Psychology, Pediatrics, Neurobiology, Neuroradiology, Epidemiology, Informatics. Thus, we pursue a translational developmental research agenda from basic science to clinical intervention and prevention.
Research projects aim at an improved diagnostics of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and further developmental disorders in children and adolescents and the establishment of more effective therapies. An other research topic comprises therapeutic drug monitoring and phamacovigilance in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry.
We investigate how young individuals learn and make decisions and how this is linked to the function and structure of their brains. We aim to understand the motivation underlying approach and avoidance behaviors and how they can lead to rigid and psychopathological behavioral patterns. We are also interested in understanding flexible and goal-directed cognitive control that enables behavioral change. Our research aims to identify neurocognitive developmental trajectories to understand the transdiagnostic emergence of impulsive and compulsive symptoms. The long-term goal of our work is to test the clinical applicability of cognitive and computational neuroscience methods.
Our research focus is on molecular pathomechanism of psychiatric disorders, especially neurodevelopmental disorders. We perform Biomarker research on human patients, genetic analyses and develop cell culture and animal models of psychiatric disorders.
Research focus: Treatment and health services in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
0ur research network ESCAlife (Evidence-based Stepped Care of ADHD across the lifespan) includes four multi-center trials on psychotherapy of ADHD from kindergarten to adulthood (BMBF funding program “Research Network on Mental Diseases”). The CAPPP Würzburg is the leading center of the controlled psychotherapy study for the treatment of ADHD in adolescents (ESCAadol) and is involved as a study center in trials on the treatment of ADHD in kindergarten and school age. The ESCAlife research program will improve ADHD treatment algorithms through adaptive strategies that take into account age, gender, symptom severity, co-morbidity and treatment response. In addition to evidence-based treatment strategies, improving the quality of care requires reliable knowledge of the prevalence of ADHD and the status of care in Germany. This is investigated by the CAPPP in cooperation with DAK-Gesundheit, the Robert Koch Institute, the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, the Economic Research Institute WiFor and the Institute for Clinical Epidemiology and Biometry of the University of Würzburg in the network "ADHD in Germany - INTEGATE-ADHD" (funded by the innovation fund of the federal committee G-BA). The CAPPP is leading a project to compare the prevalence estimates of ADHD using registry entries, surveys and guideline-based clinical assessment.
In our research we focus on molecular mechanisms underlying developmental psychiatric disorders in particular ADHD. We address basic questions regarding the function of identified risk genes during brain development. We are using a combination of molecular biology, pharmacology, imaging and behavior testing in the genetically tractable zebrafish model.