Poster and Excellence Award for Claudia Barth
Postdoctoral fellow Claudia Barth was recently awarded both a poster and excellence award for her work on sex differences related to hormones and brain structures in schizophrenia.
Claudia Barth, Photo: Kerstin Flake
During this year's annual congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) 2021 on October 2-5, Claudia Barth was awarded the Excellence and Poster award for her poster "Sex Differences in Hippocampal Subfield Volumes and Relationship to Testosterone Measures in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorders".
In her study, Barth and colleagues investigated brain images and blood samples from about 1500 study participants, to see whether sex differences in the hippocampus and testosterone levels may explain aspects of the observed discrepancy in schizophrenia risk between the sexes. Their findings indicate that there is a larger volumetric deficit in male patients with schizophrenia relative to female patients, compared to same sex healthy controls, reversing the sex difference seen in healthy individuals. Sex-specific variations in testosterone levels did not explain this finding. However, in both sexes, testosterone levels have been found to shape the hippocampus differently in patients with schizophrenia than in healthy controls. Furthermore, higher unbound and bioactive fractions of testosterone were found in female patients. Given the broad-system level effects of testosterone on the human body, further research on the possible clinical implication of endocrine alterations in female patients with schizophrenia is needed.
The annual ECNP congress is Europe's largest meeting in applied and translational neuroscience. The congress is hosted by ECNP, an independent scientific association dedicated to the science and treatment of disorders of the brain, and is an annual scientific meeting for disease-oriented brain research.