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Biomarkers and underlying mechanisms of vulnerability to depression (VULDE)
Start date: Apr 1, 2015, End date: Dec 1, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Depression is the leading chronic condition in Europe and fourth leading cause of mortality woldwide. Depression is twice more common in women compared with men, associated with dysregulation of steroid hormones in the HPA-HPG axis, ovarian dysfunction, obesity, and very recently, prenatal stress, but the mechanisms underlying its development are not well understood, yet. The current project aims to identify early hormonal and neuroimaging biomarkers and explain underlying mechanisms of vulnerability to depression. The use of novel methods in both neuroimaging and statistics on an extensive longitudinal dataset should make considerable progress possible.The applicant is moving from the University of Nottingham, UK, to the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC), the Czech Republic to use data from clinicaly healthy young adults collected in the European Longitudinal Study of Children and Parents (ELSPAC). Her experience with population-based studies, neuroimaging, and psychoneuroendocrinology as well as her collaboration with Harvard Medical School and Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest in Toronto complement with the experitse of CEITEC researchers in structural, functional, and effective connectivity analyses. Enriching the ELSPAC dataset with neuroimaging and saliva samples will increase the potential of this unique study, and attract new collaborators and students. Having access to such a dataset as well as mastering the methods for studying brain connectivity would be an asset for applicant’s career development.

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