In contrast to most areas of medicine, disorders in psychiatry are mainly defined by behavioural symptoms. Standard biological parameters that define diagnosis and assist in selecting the appropriate treatment are completely missing. Psychiatric disorders are about one third of the causes for early retirement, invalidity or occupational disability in Austria, highlighting the eminent personal and economic relevance of biological markers that provide the means for developing effective personalized treatments.
The research project MAN-BIOPSY aims to identify multimodal biomarkers for diagnosis, (non) responsiveness, remission and side effects for depression and anxiety disorders by integrating biological, psychophysiological, chemical, and behavioural parameters. A collaboration of experts in clinical psychiatry, basic science, , data mining and multimodal data analysis, as suggested by MAN-BIOPSY, will be the prerequisite for detecting reliable biomarkers to guide diagnosis and treatment.
Material and methods:
In single-blind, longitudinal, multimodal clinical trials several hundreds of patients suffering from major depression, or anxiety disorders, patients in remission and matched healthy control volunteers will be enrolled and examined over the course of 3 years. Patients will be treated following a standardized treatment regime with SSRIs as first-line pharmacotherapy. Examinations cover: i) structural and functional MRI, ii) electroencephalographic measurements and psychophysiological measurements iii) genotyping iv) biochemical parameters.
MAN-BIOPSY aims to identify multimodal markers to improve treatment and minimize side effects in psychiatry, based on a synopsis of biological, psychophysiological, chemical, and behavioural parameters. MAN-BIOPSY will therefore offer markers having the potential to be applied in an everyday clinical setting. This study will identify quantitative measurements of brain function which may be integrated in patient classification and may guide the decision for an evidence-based treatment approach.