Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
The Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at Hannover Medical School is not only committed to patient care, but is particularly dedicated to teaching and research. To gain a deeper understanding of complex diseases and establish novel innovative therapeutic interventions, joint strengths are required. Our research groups do thus collaborate with ample interdisciplinary researches being distributed all over the world.
A limited selection of our national and international projects is shown below.
For some years, there has been increasing evidence that Tourette syndrome can be successfully treated with cannabis or cannabis-based medicine. At the beginning of 2018 a large multicenter study was started at our clinic to investigate the efficacy of the cannabis extract nabiximols (SATIVEX®) for the treatment of patients with chronic tic disorders and Tourette syndrome. SATIVEX® is a mouth spray that is already approved in Germany for the treatment of spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis. Recruitment has already been completed. Participation in the study is therefore no longer possible.
Project partners: Hannover Medical School, LMU Munich, University of Lübeck, University Hospital Aachen, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, University of cologne; with support from Tourette-Gesellschaft Deutschland e.V. (TGD; 'German Tourette Association e.V.') and Interessenverband Tic & Tourette Syndrom (IVTS; 'Assosciation for Tic & Tourette Syndrome')
Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG)
ChangePDD – Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP) vs. Behavioral Activation (BA) in persistently depressed treatment-resistant inpatients: Efficacy, moderators, and mediators of change
As part of a national multicenter clinical study titled "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" (PI: Prof. Dr. Eva-Lotta Brakemeier, University of Greifswald) the MHH is participating in a clinical intervention study on the effectiveness of two psychotherapy methods for persistent depression (changePDD). The study is financed with a total of over € 1,700,000 and tries to examine the effectiveness of these two psychotherapy methods as well as the moderators and mediators of any psychotherapy improvements. One research aim is to investigate whether after 16 weeks of treatment there will be a significant superiority in the CBASP group over the BA group. In addition, this study aims to find out which intervention is most suitable for which patient and which factors cause therapeutic success. E.g., as part of moderator analyzes, this study aims to answer whether early traumatic childhood experiences and the methylation of exon IV of the BDNF gene have an influence on the differential effectiveness of the two treatments. Mediator analyzes are used to check whether the symptom improvements can be explained by improvements in the interpersonal problems in CBASP and an increase in the level of activity in BA. A follow-up survey after 48 weeks will provide valuable data regarding the sustainability of therapeutic improvements. Finally, the health economic potential of the interventions is examined with the help of cost-benefit analyzes in order to provide important information on the cost-effectiveness of an implementation in routine care.
Project partners: University of Greifswald in cooperation with six other study centers (University hospitals in Berlin, Hannover, Lübeck, Marburg, Munich and Tübingen), as well as the KKS Greifswald and the University of Kassel
Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG)
The primary aim of the AMSP-Project (Arzneimittelsicherheit in der Psychiatrie) is the continuous improvement of drug safety within psychopharmacology. Currently more than 50 hospitals in Germany, Switzerland and Austria are participating in the AMSP project and collect severe adverse drug reactions (ADR) occurring under treatment with psychotropic drugs (non-interventional).
Main focus points are the relevance of drug-drug-interactions, at-risk drug combinations, polypharmacy, relevant patient-related variables (age, gender), and pharmacogenetics (polymorphisms) within psychopharmacological treatment. After their detection, ADRs are further analyzed and causality is established. Incidence rates of ADRs and specific risk-benefit assessment for subclasses of psychotropic drugs as well as individual drugs are determined and compared with one another. Further, the AMSP project is designed to inform about clinically relevant and/or new ADRs. Surveillance of drug therapy in psychiatry is an integral part of quality assurance in the treatment of patients but also as part of clinical risk management. Drug safety should be considered a cornerstone of extensive patient safety
Project partners: Participation of more than 50 project hospitals (Germany, Austria, Switzerland); close cooperation with the University Medical Center Göttingen (Prof. Detlef Degner) and the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (Dr. Grohmann). There is further a close cooperation with state institutions at national and international levels (e.g., with the Federal Institute for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices, BfArM; the Medicines Commission of the German Medical Association (AkdÄ)) and is a member of the "European Network of Centres for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacovigilance" ECsPP under the direction of the "European Medicines Agency" EMA.
Funding: Intially funded by the Federal Institute for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices (BfArM)
EVIPan Unimed - Development, testing and implementation of regionally adaptive care structures and processes for evidence-led pandemic management coordinated by University Medical Center ('Entwicklung, Testung und Implementierung von regional adaptiven Versorgungsstrukturen und Prozessen für ein evidenzgeleitetes Pandemiemanagement koordiniert durch die Universitätsmedizin)
In order to face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, all aspects of patient care, including inpatient and outpatient care, were required to make considerable changes. The EViPan Unimed project (OnCoVID-2; cross-site project coordination: Prof. Dr. Jörg Haier, Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC), MHH) uses questionnaires to detect the effects of the pandemic on the participatory decision-making of those affected and treating them. Within this multidisciplinary project, the focus of the Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy is on mental illnesses. The resulting data are compared with an oncological cohort (CCC, MHH) and processed in such a way that they can be applied to other diagnostic entities.
Main project partners: see here
Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research ('Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF') within the framework of National Research Network COVID-19 ('Nationales Forschungsnetzwerk zu COVID-19, NUM')
European research project investigating the impact of biological, psychological and environmental factors on brain development and mental health
Funding: Initiated funded by the Euorpean Commission; subsequent funding by various agencies such as the European Research Council (ERC), Medical Research Council (MRC), National Institute for Health research UK (NIHR), Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), German Federal Ministry of Research & Education (BMBF), National Institute for Health Research US (NIHR) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
The Leibniz Future Lab, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, will focus on state of the art research in artificial intelligence and also develop intelligent solutions for personalised medicine.
Individual therapies, medication tailored to the individual patient and more precise diagnoses – this is what personalised medicine is supposed to achieve. This requires the processing and analysis of huge amounts of data. The research of the future laboratory located at L3S focuses on new approaches and algorithms for intelligent, reliable and responsible systems.
The Leibniz Future Laboratory wants to establish itself in Germany as one of the central contacts for artificial intelligence and its application in the field of personalised medicine. Together with national and international partners, the Future Laboratory will therefore conduct a large number of cooperative research and innovation projects with scientists from Leibniz University and Hannover Medical School.
Project partner: L3S Research Center Hannover, Hannover Medical School (incl. TWINCORE), Leibniz University Hannover, University of Technology Sydney & Swinburne University of Technology & Edith Cowan University (Australia), Nanyang Technological University & Advanced Digital Sciences Center (Singapore), Victoria University Wellington (New Zealand), Indian Institute of Technology (India), Stanford University (USA)
Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
The research association 'Neurobiological Foundations of Pedophilia and Sexual Abuse Behavior Against Children' (NeMUP), funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, examines mechanisms that can be the basis for child sexual abuse on the one hand and pedophile sexual preference on the other. We assume that there are at least partly different mechanisms for two different phenomena, because not every pedophile commits child sexual abuse and not every child abuse is motivated by a pedophile. Imaging, psychometric and physiological methods are used here. The special study design is intended to deepen the understanding of the distinction between sexual preference and sexual behavior in the three-year funding period. The results are to be used in the development and improvement of therapy and prevention strategies.
The locations of the association represent a network of leading medical-psychological research and care institutions for pedophile men as well as for sex offenders against children. The cooperation of outpatient clinical facilities from the prevention network 'Kein Täter werden' and institutions of the penal and penal system represents a worldwide unique constellation. Further information can be found here (official homepage of the research network).
Partners: Hannover Medical School, Charité - Berlin, University of Duisburg-Essen, University Medeical Center Schleswig Holstein Campus Kiel, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Leipzig University Hospital
Funding: Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF)
PPD - Prevention project 'Dunkelfeld' - Prevention of sexual assault by men with pedophilic tendencies
The Project Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse in the 'Dunkelfeld' ('Dark field', also known as PPD or 'Kein Täter werden'), which was launched in 2004 by the Institute of Sexology and Sexual Medicine at the Charité (Berlin), offers therapeutic support to men with pedophilic tendencies in order to avoid sexual assault and thus make an active contribution to child protection. Included in the range of services provided by the statutory health insurances since 2018, the PPD prevention network acts at the federal level against the sexual abuse of children under the motto "Preventing acts before they happen.". To date, more than 11,000 people have consulted the PPD network for help.
Project partners: Charité - Berlin, University Hospital of Giessen and Marburg, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hannover Medical School, Center for Integative Psychiatry Campus Kiel, Leipzig University Hospital, University of Regensburg / SozialStiftung Bamberg, Center of Competence for Sexual Medicine Mecklenburg-Vorpommern e.V., University Hospital Ulm, University Medical Center Mainz, University Hospital Düsseldorf
Funding: Ministry of Social Affairs of Lower Saxony (2014 - 2017), National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (2018 - 2022)
It has long been known that tics are more common in some families than in others. Until today, however, no specific genes (=hereditary disposition) could be identified that actually causes tics. The aim of this study is to discover the genes responsible for the inheritance of tics. With your participation, you will contribute to uncovering the causes of Tourette syndrome so that new therapeutic options can be developed in the long term.
Participation in the study: Only “children” can participate in this study together with their parents (so-called "parent-child trios"). The child must have a Tourette syndrome or another chronic tic disorder, but the parents must have no history of tics. There is no age limit for participation, i.e. adult "children" of any age (even >18 years) can participate, provided that both parents are willing to participate in the study, too.
Contact for participation and for further questions: 0511-532-5524 or email: email@example.com (subject "TicGenetics")
Partners: Numerous national (Hannover Medical School, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Technical University of Dresden, University of Ulm) as well as international partners (e.g., in Barcelona, Seville, Lausanne, South Korea, USA, etc); 25 institutions in total
Funding: Collaborative Genomic Studies of Tourette Disorder (TIC-Genetics): National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): 1R01MH115958-01
Research on return to work (RTW) after mental illness focuses mainly on the time before the return, the time during and after the return has hardly been considered. The present project aims on filling this gap by implementing an intensified support in five care clinics. For this purpose, a multiprofessional team provides guidance for patients with psychiatric disorders during and after the return to work to provide a long-term support. The implemented concept links medical-therapeutic treatment with corporate actions to reinforce the job-related reintegration. The project will be evaluated by assessing the sustainable return, the incapacity to work, the functionality and the self-efficacy expectation as well as self-reported incapacity to work days. The concept will be manualized and in case of a positive evaluation implemented in psychiatric institute clinics.
Partners: Alexianer St. Joseph-Krankenhaus Berlin-Weißensee GmbH, Asklepios Klinikum Harburg, Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Burghof-Klinik GmbH & Co. KG, Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Wittgenstein Klinik
Funding: Federal Joint Committee
SIMCODE - Simvastatin add-on to escitalopram in patients with comorbid obesity and major depression (SIMCODE): study protocol of a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
Project partners: Charité - Berlin, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, University of Greifswald, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hannover Medical School, Leipzig University Hopsital, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein
Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)