Research

About

The Psychiatry and Mental Health Research Group is composed of a large group of mental health professionals involving young clinicians and researchers coming from different centres throughout Spain. Additionally, the group has a clear translational perspective that includes both psychiatrists and psychologists, with the collaboration of other mental health professionals. It is located in different assistance devices of the Psychiatry Service at Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital (HUGTiP) and is also affiliated with Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Department of Psychiatry and Legal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine). Besides, some of their members are associated at Centro de Investigacion Biomédica en Red (CIBERISCIII) and collaborate with other Spanish researchers.

Keywords: mental health, psychiatric research, mental illness, psychosis, affective disorders, catatonia, neurodevelopmental disorders.

Psychiatry and Mental Health Research Group

Group leader

  • Alba Toll Privat, PhD, MD
    Alba Toll Privat, PhD, MD

    Alba Toll Privat, PhD, MD

    Alba Toll is a psychiatrist trained at Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, ​​where she worked at the Psychotic Episodes Study and Treatment Group (ETEP), and postdoctoral researcher at CIBERSAM. Nowadays she is working in Adult Psychiatry Department in Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol (HUGTIP) and she is also leading the Psychiatry and Mental Health Research Group at IGTP. She completed the Introduction to Mental Health Research Master and she also done a fellowship in Neuroimaging at Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Center (MNC, Australia) in 2016. Moreover, she has a PhD in Psychiatry (cum laude and international mention) by the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).

    She is also accredited as Young Researcher for the Spanish Society of Psychiatry and Mental Health (SEPSM) and is associate clinical professor of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). Moreover, she was part of the Board that founded the Spanish Psychiatry Residents Society (SERP) in 2015, and was a member of the Research Committee during two more years. Currently she is also part of the First Episode Psychosis Group of the Catalan Society of Psychiatry and Mental Health (PEPCat). In the last years, she has participated as sub-investigator and Principal Investigator in several studies and clinical trials on Schizophrenia and First Episode Psychosis, both at national and international level (CLOZIN study). She has also coordinated two large national multicenter studies (SURVIVE and SchizOMICS). Her main research line focuses on the etiopathogenesis of psychosis, especially on neurobiological biomarkers, treatment of negative/cognitive symptoms and cannabis use.

    Contact: atollp.germanstrias(ELIMINAR)@gencat.cat
    ORCID: 0000-0003-2399-5250

Research lines

Innovation in acute psychiatric hospitalisation

PI: Jorge Cuevas-Esteban

This line of research assesses and implements different new interventional approaches for psychiatric hospitalisation like Safewards, open door-policy hospitalization, sensory therapies, physical activity, immersive reality, patient experience, healthy habits, zero restraint, and others.

Consultation - Liaison psychiatry

PI: Maria Iglesias González

This research focuses in etiology and treatment of catatonic symptoms across different diagnostic categories, delirium during medical or surgical hospitalisation and the relationship between inflammatory markers and the presence of psychopathological symptoms in patients with major depression.

Psychosis

PI: Alba Toll Privat

Centered on the etiopathogenesis of psychosis, especially on neurobiological biomarkers, treatment of negative/cognitive symptoms and cannabis use

Neurodevelopmental disorders and perinatal mental health

PI: Maria Giralt López

The group studies early markers of environmental and genetic risk to disentangle the vulnerability pathway to different neurodevelopmental disorders (schizophrenia, autism, ADHD) and women's mental health during pregnancy and postpartum and their impact on the fetus and child.

Active projects

Hospitalización de puertas abiertas en psiquiatría: validación y reproducción del modelo Can Ruti - PORTES OBERTES

PI: Jorge Cuevas-Esteban
Funding agency: Institut Català de la Salut (ICS). Fons Llegat JMC - Unitat de Projectes Estratègics de la Gerència Territorial Metropolitana Nord (GTMN)
Agency code: 2022_31
Duration: 2022 - 2024

Alteraciones cerebrales, neuroendocrinas e inflamatorias en la depresión perinatal, cuál es su asociación y cómo influyen en la descendencia

PI: Daniel Bergé Baquero (IMIM). Team researchers: Pilar Mundo Cid, Maria Giralt López
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PI21/00018
Duration: 2022 - 2024

Estudio sobre la transferencia maternofilial de Δ9- tetrahidrocannabinol (THC) a través de leche materna en mujeres postparto con consumo habitual de cannabis. Correlación entre muestras de leche materna, orina y saliva durante el período inicial de la lactancia

PI: Laura Grau (VHIR). Team researchers: Maria Giralt López
Funding agency: Ministerio de Sanidad - Plan Nacional sobre Drogas
Duration: 2022 - 2024

Implication of male fetal microchimerism in female depression: translational studies in women and in an animal model

PI: Maria Patricia Robledo Montoya (IMIM). Team researchers: Maria Giralt López
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PI22/00018
Duration: 2022 - 2024

The SURVIVE 2 Project: An extended cohort study to investigate suicidal behavior in Spain and the efficacy of secondary prevention strategies

PI: Victor Perez Sola (IMIM) / Local PI: Alba Toll Privat
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: 2023/11342/I
Duration: 2023 - 2025

Brain, neuroendocrine and inflammatory alterations in perinatal depression, what is their association and how do they influence the offspring

PI: Daniel Bergé Baquero (IMIM) / Local PI: Maria Giralt López
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PI21/00018
Duration: 2022 - 2024

Implication of male fetal microchimerism in female depression: translational studies in women and in an animal model

PI: Maria Patricia Robledo Montoya (IMIM) / Local PI: Maria Giralt López
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PI22/00018
Duration: 2022 - 2024

Markers of neurodevelopment and schizophrenia: analysis of shared genetic variability and the effect of prenatal stress

PI: M Fatjó-Vilas / Local PI: Maria Giralt López
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PI20/01002
Duration: 2021 - 2023 (extended)

Targeting mRNAs condensates in neurites for a better understanding of synaptic plasticity dysfunction in schizophrenia

PI: M Fatjó-Vilas / Local PI: Maria Giralt López
Funding agency: Fundació La Marató TV3
Agency code: 202213-30
Duration: 2023 - 2025

Predicting diagnosis on first-episode psychosis through fingerprints, genomics and deep learning algorithms

PI: M Fatjó-Vilas. Team researchers: Maria Giralt López, Monica Moreira Martínez & Jorge Cuevas Esteban
Funding agency: CIBER de Salud Mental, Intramural Joint Research and Development Project
Duration: 2022 - 2024

Toward precision psychiatry for major depression: immune response and affective symptoms as predictors of response to antidepressant treatment (LIMFODEP)

PI: Maria Iglesias González
Funding agency: Institut Català de la Salut (ICS). Fons Llegat JMC - Unitat de Projectes Estratègics de la Gerència Territorial Metropolitana Nord (GTMN)
Agency code: LIMFODEP
Duration: 2024 - 2027

Open-door hospitalization in psychiatry: validation and reproduction of the Can Ruti model - PORTES OBERTES

PI: Jorge Cuevas-Esteban
Funding agency: Institut Català de la Salut (ICS). Fons Llegat JMC - Unitat de Projectes Estratègics de la Gerència Territorial Metropolitana Nord (GTMN)
Agency code: 2022_31
Duration: 2022 - 2024

Design of a humanized rodent model of depression using olfactory neuroepithelium stem cells from major depressive disorder patients

PI: Alba Toll Privat
Funding agency: CIBERSAM, Intramural Joint Research and Development Project
Agency code: 2022/10677/I
Duration: 2022 - 2024

Applied PHARMAcogenetics to Predict the Response to Treatment of the First Psychotic Episode (FARMAPRED-PEP Project)

PI: Sergi Mas (HCB) / Local PI: Alba Toll Privat
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: FARMAPRED-PEP
Duration: 2022 - 2024

Multidisciplinary CIBER study to optimize the treatment of schizophrenia by utilizing multi-omics data and biology of systems (SchizOMICS)

PI: Javier Labad (CSdM) / Project Manager: Alba Toll Privat
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: ICI21/00089
Duration: 2021 - 2024

Study on the maternal-child transfer of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) through breast milk in postpartum women with habitual cannabis use. Correlation between breast milk, urine and saliva samples during the initial period of lactation

PI: Laura Grau (VHIR) / Local PI: Maria Giralt López
Funding agency: Ministerio de Sanidad - Plan Nacional sobre Drogas
Agency code: 2021/047
Duration: 2022 - 2024

Pilot study of implementation of a screening tool for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of patients with a neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorder: use of 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) as a model

PI: E Vilella-Cuadrada / Local PI: Maria Giralt López
Funding agency: ISCIII Personalized Precision Medicine Research Projects
Agency code: PMP22/00088
Duration: 2023 - 2025

Past projects

Neurodevelopment markers and schizophrenia: analysis of their shared genetic underpinnings and the modulation effect of prenatal stress

FIDMAG Research Foundation. Team researchers: Mónica Moreira Martínez, Maria Giralt López
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PI20/01002
Duration: 2021 - 2023

Personalized medicine in Neurofibromatosis type 2: improving the genetic diagnosis, the evaluation of the quality of life and the generation of schwannoma iPSC-derived cell model

PI: Elisabeth Castellanos & Ignacio Blanco (IGTP). Team researchers: Teresa Rangil Muñoz
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PI20/00215
Duration: 2021 - 2023

Ensayo clínico sobre los efectos de un entrenamiento de habilitades en síntomas de larga evolución en pacientes con Trastorno Límite de Personalidad

PI: IIB Sant Pau. Team researchers: Sara González Simarro
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PI19/00087
Duration: 2020 - 2022

Scientific publications

Highlighted publications

Toll A, Pechuan E, Bergé D, Legido T, Martínez-Sadurní L, El-Abidi K, Pérez-Solà V, Mané A. Factors associated with suicide attempts in first-episode psychosis during the first two years after onset. Psychiatry Res. 2023 Jul;325:115232. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2023.115232.

Ibáñez-Caparrós A, Sánchez I, Granero R, Jiménez-Murcia S, Rosinska M, Thiel A, Zipfel S, de Pablo J, Camacho-Barcia L, Fernandez-Aranda F. Athletes with Eating Disorders: Analysis of Their Clinical Characteristics, Psychopathology and Response to Treatment. Nutrients. 2023 Jun 30;15(13):3003. DOI: 10.3390/nu15133003.

Etxandi M, Baenas I, Mora-Maltas B, Granero R, Fernández-Aranda F, Tovar S, Solé-Morata N, Lucas I, Casado S, Gómez-Peña M, Moragas L, Pino-Gutiérrez AD, Tapia J, Valenciano-Mendoza E, Potenza MN, Gearhardt AN, Diéguez C, Jiménez-Murcia S. Plasma concentration of leptin is related to food addiction in gambling disorder: Clinical and neuropsychological implications. J Behav Addict. 2023 Oct 17;12(4):1019-1031. DOI: 10.1556/2006.2023.00051.

Diez-Quevedo C, Iglesias-González M, Giralt-López M, Rangil T, Sanagustin D, Moreira M, López-Ramentol M, Ibáñez-Caparrós A, Lorán ME, Bustos-Cardona T, Menéndez-Cuiñas I, Mundo-Cid P, Blanco-Presas L, de Pablo J, Cuevas-Esteban J. Mental disorders, psychopharmacological treatments, and mortality in 2150 COVID-19 Spanish inpatients. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2021 Jun;143(6):526-534. DOI: 10.1111/acps.13304.

Giralt-López M, Miret S, Soler J, Campanera S, Parellada M, Fañanás L, Fatjó-Vilas M. The role of schizotypal traits and the OXTR gene in theory of mind in schizophrenia: A family-based study. Eur Psychiatry. 2020 Feb 14;63(1):e15. DOI: 10.1192/j.eurpsy.2019.17.

ALL PUBLICATIONS

Additional information

Doctoral theses

Title: Neuroendocrine alterations in impulsive - compulsive spectrum disorders: implications in gambling disorder and food addiction
Author: Mikel Etxandi Santolaya
Supervisors: Fernando Fernández Aranda, Susana Jiménez Murcia
University: Universitat de Barcelona (UB)
Date of defence: 22/04/2024

News

- Research

A new study reveals the underuse of a key drug in patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia

The Psychiatry and Mental Health Research Group at IGTP, together with the ETEP (Study and Treatment of Psychotic Episodes) group at Hospital del Mar, has published a new study analysing the prescription patterns of clozapine in patients with a first psychotic episode. This study highlights the importance of broader and earlier implementation of this treatment to improve the quality of life for patients.

- Research, Projects, Outreach

The project "Workshop #20 - Neural Networks", a space for collaboration, experimentation, and research between science, art, technology, and society

The activity of Èpica Foundation La Fura dels Baus, co-financed by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), in collaboration with Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP), Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona (IIBB-CSIC), Polytechnic University of Catalonia, and Computer Vision Center (CVC-UAB), took place from 14 to 26 May at Casa de l'Aigua (Trinitat Nova) in Barcelona. The results were presented last weekend before more than 200 people.

+ News

Contact

Alba Toll Privat

(+34) 93 465 12 00 extn. 8392

atollp.germanstrias(ELIMINAR)@gencat.cat