Addiction, Forensic Psychiatry, Epidemiology

Focus of research


Substance use disorders and behavioral addictions are the conseqence of a negative interaction between blogical, psychological and social factors. As they come into existence they are best regarded as brain disorders. Our mission is to conduct patient-centered addiction research resulting in better- evidence based treatments for patients with addictive disorders. We try to achieve this goal through development and testing of effective and efficient treatments and exploration of mechanisms underlying treatment success. Emphasis is on clinical research, but recently we initiated pre-clinical studies to pilot new interventions and to enhance our understanding of tretament processes.

We distinghish three (overlapping) themes:

(1) Basic neurbiological research investigating factors involved in the initiation and persistance of addictive behaviours, e.g. neurobiology of craving, neurocognitive deficits associated with pathological gambling, neurobiological predicors of treatment success. One of our main technologies here is neuroimaging (SPECT, fMRI, DTI, H.MRS).

(2) Treatment research, testing the effectiveness of addiction treatments and their underlying processes, e.g. treatment efficacy, process evaluation, double diagnosis treatmentss, and patient-treatment matching (pharmacogenomics). A recent interest is the study of neuromodulation techniques: transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and deep brain stimulation (DBS).

(3) Health services research, investigating healthcare systems, e.g. implementation of evidence-based interventions, quality of health care, cost-effectiveness.