Stress and mental illness

The NMI has received funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) to investigate the impact of stress on health. In a joint effort with the laboratory of Prof. Dr. Gal Richter-Levin at the University of Haifa, Israel, the Molecular Neurobiology group at the NMI led by Prof. Dr. Hansjürgen Volkmer, is asking the question how stress affects synapses in the brain and influences behavior. A better understanding of the underlying mechanisms is important because stress can have a lasting impact on affected individuals, in the worst case causing post-traumatic stress disorder and long-term impairment of quality of life.

The NMI and the University of Haifa have been collaborating in this field for more than ten years. In search of answers, the NMI analyzes molecules involved in said synaptic changes and elucidates their function. The influence of these mechanisms in connection with stress-related behavioral changes is being investigated by the partner team at the University of Haifa.

Overall, a better understanding of how stress affects the brain may pave the way for new therapies and make stress disorders more tractable in the future.

The joint project is funded within the framework of the Middle East Cooperation of the DFG (FKZ: VO 941/10-1) for a period of three years.

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