The Psychoneuroendocrinology and Stress in Psychosis research group (PSICPNEC) is composed of researchers from the Mental Health Departments at Consorci Sanitari del Maresme (Hospital de Mataró) and Parc Taulí Hospital. It has been recently recognised by the AGAUR as a consolidated research group (2021 SGR 00789) and is one of the research groups of the consortium affilated to the IGTP.

The main scientific interest of the group is the study of the relationship between hormones and behaviour (Psychoneuroendocrinology) in patients with a psychotic disorder, or at risk of developing a psychotic disorder (at-risk mental states).

Research lines include the study of the neurobiological mechanisms of stress (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) in the pathogenesis and outcome of psychotic disorders. The group also aims to study the role of hormones in the risk of transition to psychosis in vulnerable populations and the association with a more severe phenotype (e.g., cognitive impairment) in established psychoses. Other research lines are focused on the study of the role of gender and hormones in the therapeutic response to pharmacological, psychotherapeutic, and cognitive rehabilitation interventions in psychotic disorders. Recent research includes the study of stress-related biomarkers in animal models in collaboration with researchers of the Neuroscience Translational Unit UAB-Parc Taulí.

Keywords: Psychoneuroendocrinology, stress, hormones, cortisol, psychosis.

Psychoneuroendocrinology and Stress in Psychosis (PSICPNEC) research group

Research lines

Stress-related biomarkers in early psychosis and in people at risk of developing a psychotic disorder

PI: Javier Labad

This research line is focused in the study of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis hormones and prolactin in the risk of developing a psychotic disorder in vulnerable individuals and in people with a first episode psychosis. In the last years, the groups has also studied the role of stress-related biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid and is currently conducting research projects dealing with proteomics and epigenetics in people with early psychosis.

Impact of hormones on the clinical expression of psychotic disorders

PI: Itziar Montalvo

The group has studied the role of several hormones including prolactin, cortisol and thyroid hormones in the clinical expression of psychotic disorders, with a particular interest in cognitive symptoms. Some studies of the group include exploring the contribution of hyperprolactinaemia to the cognitive impairment in psychiatric (first episode psychosis) and non-psychiatric (prolactinoma) populations. Previous studies of the group have analysed whether hormones might predict treatment response to a cognitive rehabilitation intervention in first episode psychosis.

Psychopathological and biological consequences of abuse in adolescents and young adults

PI: Javier Labad

The group has also studied the contribution of childhood trauma to the clinical expression of different mental disorders (psychosis, depression) with a transdiagnostic approach. In the last years, the group has also started to conduct research on the negative consequences of bullying in adolescents. Current active projects deal with the negative consequences of childhood trauma and bullying on stress-related biomarkers such as hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis hormones, prolactin and inflammatory markers.

Active projects

Genomic, epigenetic and proteomic biomarkers in psychosis: a translational approach including high-risk individuals, patients with schizophrenia and animal models (GEPI-BIOPSY)

PI: Javier Labad
Funding agency: EU (ERA-NET Biomarkers)
Agency code: AC19/00129
Start date: 01/6/2020
End date: 31/5/2023

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

PI: Javier Labad
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: ICI21/00089
Start date: 01/01/2021
End date: 31/12/2024

El papel de los parámetros del líquido cefalorraquídeo y las firmas proteómicas en el resultado a largo plazo del primer episodio psicótico: estudio de seguimiento a 5 años

PI: Javier Labad
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: ICI21/00089
Start date: 01/01/2023
End date: 31/12/2025

Estrés y experiencias psicóticas en población adolescente: una aproximación epidemiológica, clínica y experimental

PI: Javier Labad (Co-IP: Itziar Montalvo)
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PI18/01843
Start date: 01/01/2019
End date: 30/06/2022

Estudio piloto de implementación de una herramienta de cribado para la prevención, diagnóstico y tratamiento de pacientes con un trastorno psiquiátrico del neurodesarrollo: utilización del síndrome deleción 22q11.2 (22q11.2DS) como modelo

PI: Elisabet Vilella. Collaborators: Javier Labad, Paloma Valera
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PMP22/00088
Start date: 2023
End date: 2025

Scientific publications

Vázquez-Bourgon J, Gómez-Revuelta M, Mayoral-van Son J, Labad J, Ortiz-García de la Foz V, Setién-Suero E, Ayesa-Arriola R, Tordesillas-Gutiérrez D, Juncal-Ruiz M, Crespo-Facorro B. Pattern of long-term weight and metabolic changes after a first episode of psychosis: Results from a 10-year prospective follow-up of the PAFIP program for early intervention in psychosis cohort. Eur Psychiatry. 2022 Aug 16;65(1):e48. DOI: 10.1192/j.eurpsy.2022.2308.

Álvarez A, Guàrdia A, González-Rodríguez A, Betriu M, Palao D, Monreal JA, Soria V, Labad J. A systematic review and meta-analysis of suicidality in psychotic disorders: Stratified analyses by psychotic subtypes, clinical setting and geographical region. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2022 Dec;143:104964. DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2022.104964.

Giné-Servén E, Serra-Mestres J, Martinez-Ramirez M, Boix-Quintana E, Davi-Loscos E, Guanyabens N, Casado V, Muriana D, Torres-Rivas C, Cuevas-Esteban J, Labad J. Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis in older adults: A systematic review of case reports. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2022 Jan-Feb;74:71-77. DOI: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2021.11.006.

González-Rodríguez A, Monreal JA, Porras-Segovia A, Cervilla JA, Gutiérrez-Rojas L. Psychometric instruments for the assessment of depressive symptoms in patients with delusional disorder: A systematic review. Psychiatry Res. 2022 Apr;310:114435. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2022.114435.

Medina JC, Flix-Valle A, Rodríguez-Ortega A, Hernández-Ribas R, Lleras de Frutos M, Ochoa-Arnedo C. ICOnnecta't: Development and Initial Results of a Stepped Psychosocial eHealth Ecosystem to Facilitate Risk Assessment and Prevention of Early Emotional Distress in Breast Cancer Survivors' Journey. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Feb 15;14(4):974. DOI: 10.3390/cancers14040974.

Guasp M, Rosa-Justicia M, Muñoz-Lopetegi A, Martínez-Hernández E, Armangué T, Sugranyes G, Stein H, Borràs R, Prades L, Ariño H, Planagumà J, De-La-Serna E, Escudero D, Llufriu S, Sánchez-Valle R, Santamaria J, Compte A, Castro-Fornieles J, Dalmau J; Spanish anti-NMDAR Encephalitis Study Group. Clinical characterisation of patients in the post-acute stage of anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis: a prospective cohort study and comparison with patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Lancet Neurol. 2022 Oct;21(10):899-910. DOI: 10.1016/S1474-4422(22)00299-X.

Javier Labad’s publications


Javier Labad

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