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Center for Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Main Research Activities

The Centre was established in 2011 and we have since collected clinical, brain imaging and genetic data on approximately 2000 Norwegian children and adults with ADHD, as well as control persons. We study molecular mechanisms for neuronal communication and how gene variation that causes alterations in molecular properties, contribute to altered behaviour of neurons and brain function.

Together with collaborating centres in Europe and the Americas, we have performed clinical studies, brain imaging studies and genome wide genetic analyses. This has recently culminated in identification of the first genome wide significant ADHD susceptibility genes. We are investigating the functions of these candidate genes in the brain and how alterations in them can lead to deficiencies in their cellular function. These functional studies are performed by studying the proteins encoded by the genes of interest. Data from Norway’s population based registries has provided us with opportunities to study a large number of ADHD patients, and has enabled analyses of other risk factors for, as well as co-morbidities with ADHD, analyses that will be elaborated in future studies.

For several years we have been interested in the molecular mechanisms underlying the function and malfunction of the human brain. A particular focus in these studies has been on the communication between neurons occurring at the synapse. We are interested in the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal plasticity and modulation, which allows specific connections between neurons to be altered for extended time periods. Key proteins involved in memory formation, such as Arc and important neuromodulators, such as dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin, have had a long-standing interest.

The following objectives forms the basis of our research focus: 

  1. To identify new pathophysiological mechanisms in ADHD and related neuropsychiatric disorders.
  2. To identify new therapeutic targets and treatment strategies for neuropsychiatric disorders.
  3. To establish local technology platforms and national and international collaborative
    networks needed for continued discovery and innovation in neuropsychiatry.