The group researching anxiety, affective disorders and schizophrenia is made up of different researchers that carry out their work in psychiatric treatment itself in the Institute of Neuropsychiatry and Addictions of the Parc de Salut Mar, both at a hospital level and as primary care.
This research group laid the foundations on which the scientific scope is currently developing from the first findings of 20 years ago. More specifically, this group described the association between anxiety and a greater flexibility of the collagenous fibres, a main characteristic that is now known as joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS). This clinical association was later confirmed with the discovery of a genetic link between both phenomena that caused great impact, both internationally and in promoting clinical training methods for diagnosing joint hypermobility syndrome using a CD-ROM endorsed by the SER as well as the SEP and financed by the FIS.
Currently, research into the relationship between JHS and anxiety is spreading to other fields of psychopathology, such as schizophrenia and affective disorders. To bring these findings closer to helping those affected, an Anxiety Unit has recently been opened, specifically to treat anxiety disorders. Moreover, the study of joint hypermobility syndrome has opened up new lines of research with study into other bodily signs of psychopathological significance, like biotypology or lesser physical anomalies.
Finally, in the field of anxiety and also in the field of affective disorders, this research group is studying seasonality – the possible influence of climate, as well as certain foodstuffs on the occurrence and development of these disorders.
It is also worth mentioning the line of research which is attempting to look more deeply into different aspects of comorbility among psychopathology and other medical pathologies, especially dermatological diseases through the Psychodermatology Unit’s team of professionals. Progress is also being made in the study of comorbility amongst psychopathology and disorders from substance use, with the recent opening of the Dual Pathology Unit.
The Cognitive Neuroscience Unit has been created in the Psychiatric Department of the UAB (Autonomous University of Barcelona), which is found in the Institute of Neuropsychiatry and Addictions of the Parc de Salut Mar, at Hospital del Mar. The unit’s main aim is to investigate psychiatric and neurological diseases through neuroimaging techniques. At the moment, the unit has more than two lines of research open, especially focusing on illnesses such as schizophrenia, anxiety, and on evolutionary neuropsychiatry (paediatric ADHD – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – and OCD – obsessive-compulsive disorder).
Furthermore, they have the “Cervell social” educational section, which originated in one of the most successful dialogues from the Universal Forum of Cultures (Barcelona 2004). The aim of this educational section is to reinforce the analysis of important theoretical and empirical research into neurobiology in the context of social phenomena, as well as to promote an inter-disciplinary debate among neuroscience researchers and society. The educational section has an inter-disciplinary focus on neuroscience, cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence and linguistics, in order to broaden and deepen knowledge of cognition and social behaviour. It is organised into high-level international workshops focusing on specific social neuroscience topics, as well as carrying out experimental research into neuroimaging of social cognition.
All of this collection of knowledge especially helps to enrich and reinforce the Institute of Neuropsychiatry and Addictions of the Parc de Salut Mar professional clinics’ continuous training and research.