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Structural MRI: Etiological risk factors in psychosis disorders

The group aims is to investigate etiology and pathophysiological mechanisms in severe psychiatric diseases (foremost schizophrenia and bipolar disorders) from a brain imaging perspective.

The research has particular focus on brain neuroanatomy studied using advanced magnetic resonance imaging and how it relates with etiology (genes and environmental factors) and early risk factors (e.g. obstetric complications) as well as with the clinical phenotype, substance use, immune markers, infection and use of medication.

In our longitudinal studies we study the developmental brain trajectories. One subproject focuses on early-onset-psychosis and brain development over time in adolescents and is studied under the same TOP/NORMENT umbrella. We participate in international consortia (ENIGMA, ImageMend).


  • Longitudinal follow-up: We are establishing cohorts of patients who are diagnosed with a psychosis disorder at different times in their lives or who are at high risk for developing such a disorder. Using longitudinal follow-up, we want to examine the risk of developing disease from both a genetic and an environmental perspective, to be able to predict the future course and the factors that may alleviate the various stages of the disease.
  • Early onset schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: A cohort study of youths and children who fell ill at a young age followed over time. Since psychosis is rare among young people, we started in 2012 a multicenter study (Karolinska Institutet and Uppsala University) to reach as many young people with psychosis or psychosis-like conditions as possible. Both of others and our own structural MRI studies we find both similarities and differences between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the similarities are greatest for the type of bipolar disorder containing developed manic moves. We examine brain development, but also clinical development and cardiovascular and metabolic factors, in addition to brain function. The aim is to increase knowledge about the causes of psychosis among young people and contribute to safer diagnosis, improved treatment and possible preventive measures in the future.
  • We actively participate in large international collaborations (consortia) as ENIGMA (Enhancing neuroimaging genetics through meta analysis) and ImagMend


Group conducts an active part of the TOP project included in Norment (Norwegian center for research on mental disorders (SFF)) and K.G. Jebsen Centre for Psychosis Research at the University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital (OUS), led by Professor Ole Andreassen.

The studies require a large clinical material, and TOP / Norment therefore collaborating with Diakonhjemmet Hospital, in addition to Oslo University, and research institutions Karolinska Institutet, Uppsala University and the University of Bergen. In addition, the group has extensive cooperation with many European and American scientists.

The research is funded primarily by the Norwegian Research Council and Helse Sør-Øst HF

Published Feb. 19, 2016 1:19 PM - Last modified Apr. 25, 2018 2:49 PM