Projects of RG Lucae
Whether or not antidepressant treatment leads to a complete remission of symptoms is probably mediated by several factors, one of them being genetic variation. Our research group is organizing the MARS (Munich Antidepressant Response Signature) study, designed to discover biomarkers and genotypes predictive for clinical outcome (www.mars-depression.de). Patients with at least a moderate depressive episode who are admitted to our hospital are asked to participate in our study. Trained raters assess the severity of psychopathology at admission and then weekly until discharge. At the functional level, the status of the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, as well as neuropsychological parameters are examined at admission and after six weeks using the dex/CRH test as well as a standardized neuropsychological test battery. In addition, serum and cerebrospinal fluid are analyzed to discover protein biomarkers (proteomics), and repeated gene expression profiling is performed during hospitalization.
We are performing candidate gene studies as well as whole-genome association studies and aim at combining these results with functional data and brain morphometry studies. We are also interested in metabolic changes occurring in depressed patients and the interplay of these alterations with treatment response.