Understanding and targeting microbial patterns among adolescents with depression: using a complex systems approach in an urban environment

Project Details


Adolescent depression is prevalent in urban settings and associated with recurrence, comorbidity and suicide. Many, if not all of the challenges, faced by the developing adolescent in an urban environment have an impact on the intestinal commensal microbiota. This may be particularly valuable in adolescents with depression because response to current treatment is less effective than in adults.

Therefore, targeting the intestinal bacteria, and consequently the microbiota-gut-brain axis, to reduce depressive symptomatology is an innovative concept. The malleability of the nervous system at adolescence can be harnessed and may provide a critical window of opportunity to safely mitigate depression.

In order to target the microbiome, we need an increased understanding of the microbial patterns in urban settings and how this is altered in depression. This goal asks for a complexity approach, in which multiple factors at distinct levels interact and biological systems are a potential endpoint to target.

PhD Candidate: Vera Korenblik

Project Applicants: dr. Anja Lok (Amsterdam UMC, location AMC, dept. Psychiatry); professor Stanley Bul (FNWI-SILS)

Project Team: prof. dr. Claudi Bockting; dr. Aniko Korosi
Effective start/end date21/03/2022 → …