Biologist and Epidemiologist Research Director Inserm
Marie-Laure Ancelin, Co-Directeur de l'unité
Depression, suicidal behavior, post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) and cognitive disorders are multifactorial pathologies in which stress regulation systems and notably the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis could play a major role involving interaction between numerous genetic and environmental factors as well as modulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPG). Our epidemiological and clinical approach is mainly based on the ESPRIT general population cohort; 1863 persons aged 65 years and over followed-up for more than 10 years undergoing neuropsychiatric and cardiovascular examinations, MRI, with salivary and blood samples for a DNA bank. Our main research projects aim to examine: 1. the relations between metabolic dysfunction and neuropsychiatric disorders taking into account genetic vulnerability. These studies are designed to investigate hormonal determinants of psychiatric and cognitive disorders, and their structural correlates (MRI), with a view to isolating sub-groups of “hormone-sensitive” persons who may respond differently to targeted hormone treatment. 2. diurnal cortisol secretion under basal and stressful conditions in elderly persons in order to evaluate the role of stress regulation systems in neuro-psychiatric disorders, taking into account environmental risk factors (e.g. trauma) and genetic vulnerability related to serotonin metabolism and/or HPA and HPG axes. 3. the impact of chronic stress or traumatic events on physical (e.g. vascular pathologies) and mental health, notably the onset of PTSD, in elderly community (ESPRIT cohort) and clinical samples (PHOENIX cohort). Allostatic load (biological and clinical markers of stress regulation systems) is considered as a potential marker of chronic evolution of PTSD and treatment efficacy during exposure therapy (EVEREST cohort). 4. the pharmacological impact of medication (steroids, corticosteroids, anticholinergic drugs, caffeine) on cognitive decline, dementia and psychiatric disorders (depression, PTSD). 5. the role of psychiatric, cognitive and neuro-sensorial disorders as risk factors for disability onset and mortality. Clinical studies of mental health service delivery are also being conducted. The SESAME study examines psychiatric care administered by general practitioners in the Languedoc-Roussillon region with a view to improving diagnosis and treatment. This project is currently providing information on the prevalence of mental disorders in the adult regional community, with a view to furthering understanding of care pathways and unmet needs, and assessing the diagnostic accuracy and effectiveness of treatments. The study also aims to identify causes of relapse and treatment failure. Based on this information, it will be possible to formulate intervention and prevention strategies and develop programs enhancing public information and education. The STEP Project examines the heterogeneity of case management in schizophrenia and causes of recurrence, and the clinical advantages of pharmacogenetic screening.
Biologist and Epidemiologist Senior Research Fellow Inserm
Epidemiologist Neuropsychologist Research Director Inserm Visiting Professor , Imperial College
Psychiatrist Hospital Practitioner, Responsible for the medical team of the University Department of Adult Psychiatry, Coordinator of the Department of Adult Psychiatry, Deputy Head of the H-U Department of Psychiatry (Hôpital La Colombière).
Clinical Research Assistant University Personnel
Psychiatrist Founder & Chief Executive Officer IXICO
Statistician and Epidemiologist Senior Research Assistant Inserm
Biologist and Epidemiologist Research Assistant Inserm
Statistician and epidemiologist Research Assistant Inserm