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Psychokardiology and Psychotherapy

Research group leader: Prof. Dr. med. Kai G. Kahl
Ein Foto von Prof. Kahl in seinem Arbeitszimmer. Hinter ihm stehen sehr viele Bücher im Regal.
Prof. Dr. med. Kai G. Kahl / Copyright: Karin Kaiser, Communication / MHH

Patients with severe mental disorders exhibit an increased morbidity and mortality due to cardio-metabolic disorders, and a reduced life expectancy by 10-15 years. Cardiovascular and metabolic disorders constitute the main causes for increased mortality. Vice versa, patients with cardiovascular disorders have an increased risk for developing major depressive disorder. Our research group is highly interested in the brain-heart-interface and the development of targeted treatment strategies for patients comorbid with mental and physical disorders.

Research issues are:

  • Epidemiology of the brain-heart-interface
  • Role of central energy metabolism in mental and physical disorders
  • Development and evaluation of psychological treatments for patients comorbid with mental and physical disorders


  • 2019: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychiatrie, Psychosomatik, Nervenheilkunde und Psychotherapie
    Poster price: Einfluss der SSRI Exposition auf Proliferationsrate und Glukoseaufnahme in Brust- und Eierstockkrebszelllinien

  • 2019: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychiatrie, Psychosomatik, Nervenheilkunde und Psychotherapie
    Poster price: Neurobiologische Mechanismen der metakognitiven Therapie – ein experimentelles Paradigma

  • European Psychiatric Association: most cited paper

  • Deutsche Gesellschaft Psychotraumatologie (Falk-von-Reichenbach-Preis)



Our work area is equipped with the most modern methods for determining psychiatric, psychocardiological, neuroscientific and psychophysiological data. This includes

  • specially trained employees from the medical and psychological field for precise psychiatric diagnostics,
  • a psychocardiological laboratory for measuring echocardiographies (EKG),
  • the precise determination of epicardial and pericardial fat tissue (in cooperation with PD Dr. Mechthild Westhoff-Bleck),
  • modern computer technology and software (Presentation, e-Prime) for measuring time-critical psychophysical experiments on patients and healthy control subjects,
  • a Siemens SKYRA 3T magnetic resonance tomograph (MRT, in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Krüger)



Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF). Part of the multicenter study team for the DFG-funded clinical trial on the topic: "Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP) vs. Behavioral Activation (BA) in inpatients with persistent depressive and therapy-resistant disorders: effectiveness, moderators and mediators of change ”. Total funding volume: 1,784,965 €. Main applicant and coordination: Prof. Dr. Eva-Lotta Brakemeier, University of Greifswald; https://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/projekt/405994555).

Research Collaborations

Research group leader


Prof. Dr. Kai G. Kahl, managing senior physician




  • Leiter des Ausbildungsinstituts für Verhaltenstherapie und Verhaltensmedizin der MHH,
  • Supervisor für Verhaltenstherapie,
  • Leiter des Referats Polypharmazie der AGNP,
  • Mitglied des Referats Psychosomatik der DGPPN


Publikationen: https://pubmed/Kahl_Kai



Cornelia Gerbothe

Telefon: +49 511 532 6559

Telefax: +49 511 532 8375