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RG Stress-Related Disorders


Vice Chairman of the Department, Head of the Research Group

apl. Prof. Dr. Michael Deuschle

Fax: +49 621 1703-2305


Main Medical Building, 1st Floor, Room 114


Our focus is on the activity and dysregulation of stress-responsive systems (HPA, ANS) in stress-related disorders as well as the consequences thereof (allostatic load, metabolic risks).

Stress is an adaptation to strains that allows coping of the challenge. The stress reaction that comes along with the activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) system and sympathoadrenergic activation, is essential for the short-term survival of the stressor, but may have deleterious effects on physical and mental health in the long run. Stress in childhood and youth may have lasting effects on the risk for adult diseases. Also, stress is suspected to be directly associated with mental diseases, especially depression. A long-lasting activation of stress-responsive systems, like HPA activation during depressive episodes, may contribute to incident cardiometabolic and neurocognitive symptoms.

Against that background, our research group deals with lasting effects of strains and environmental challenges in childhood and youth on adult health and phenotype, second with the disease-related activation of stress-related systems in disorders being related with increased risk for depression (sleep disorders, diabetes etc.) and, third, with health-related effects off lasting activation of stress-responsive systems, especially during depressive episodes.

The stress concept is applicable for an array of psychiatric and physical problems. Therefore, the research group uses a spectrum of neuroendocrine, diabetological and psychometrical methods and cooperates with research groups in the field of neuroimaging, biochemistry, genetics and epigenetics, developmental psychology and behavioral biology. The research group stress-related disorders is tightly related to the scientific sleep laboratory (head: Prof. Schredl).

Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit (ZI) - https://www.zi-mannheim.de