Appointment of Miguel Bernardo, Group leader
We must face schizophrenia in a positive way. Advancing in research means we need to view the disease from a new perspective

Current research

Problem

The group considers schizophrenia as a complex, heterogeneous disorder resulting from the interaction between genetic variables and environmental variants with important social determinants.

As a disease, schizophrenia raises some health needs that are not covered from the patient care angle, and which the group is attempting to tackle from a clinical research position. The group does this by researching and generating scientific evidence on new, more valid and effective procedures and treatments, as the prognosis of this disease depends, largely, on early and effective intervention.

Approach

The group is developing longitudinal follow-up studies of initial psychotic episodes and defining the factors involved and the determinants of their evolution. This is a task that it carries out while analysing the clinical, neurocognitive, neurobiological, neuroimaging and environmental correlates that condition the therapeutic response and the risk of relapse.

It also puts into practice techniques and procedures to analyse genetic and neurobiological variants, especially related with inflammatory balance and oxidative stress, in order to look for biomarkers and predictive models that enable identification of new therapeutic targets.

Impact

The identification of biochemical, genetic, neuroimaging or neuropsychological biomarkers contributes to more effective and efficient treatment and rehabilitation. The group’s research in the field of schizophrenia has allowed it to validate strategies that have been incorporated into clinical guides, improving prognoses and reducing burden.

In patient care in practice, reducing the period for the implementation of the proven results obtained in the research, as well as early intervention, have shown clear benefits that have enabled a reduction in the individual, family and social burden of the disease.