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Academic Medical Center (AMC)

AMC research lines within ABC

The Center

The Academic Medical Center (AMC) is one of the largest hospitals in the Netherlands. It was the first institute in this country to completely integrate an academic hospital and a Medical Faculty into one organisation. This integration enhances the coordination of fundamental and clinical research and intensifies close cooperation between research fields. The AMC complex houses the university hospital and the medical faculty of the University of Amsterdam, as well as the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience and the medical department of the Royal Tropical Institute. Also a number of biotech companies - partly AMC spin-offs - are located on the premises. This concentration of expertise makes the AMC ‘more than just a university hospital’ and provides a breeding ground for fruitful scientific collaboration.

Website AMC


Programme coordinator: Prof. dr. Don Linszen

Subject: The main focus of the 'Psychotic Disorders and Schizophrenia' research programme is on basic, applied and psychosocial research in a group of formally classified young patients experiencing a first or second psychotic episode. It also includes youngsters with a high risk of developing psychotic disorders and other patients at high risk of psychosis and cognitive disorders. The disorders are also accompanied by an increased risk (10%) of suicide. Epidemiologic, genetic, and brain-imaging research consider schizophrenia to be a developmental disorder of the brain. Multiple genetic factors are assumed to play a role, possibly interacting with early or late environmental factors.

Key publications:

  • Reneman L, Booij J, de Bruin K, Reitsma JB, de Wolff FA, Gunning WB, den Heeten GJ, van den Brink W. (2001). Effects of dose, sex, and long-term abstention from use on toxic effects of MDMA (ecstasy) on brain serotonin neurons. Lancet, 358(9296):1864-9.
  • De Haan L, Booij J, Lavalaye J, van Amelsvoort T, Linszen D. (2006) Occupancy of dopamine D2 receptors by antipsychotic drugs is related to nicotine addiction in young patients with schizophrenia. Psychopharmacology, 183:500-5.
  • Appelhof BC, Huyser J, Verwey M, Brouwer JP, Dyck R van, Fliers E, Hoogendijk WJG, Tijssen JGP, Wiersinga WM, Schene AH. (2006). Glucocorticoids and relapse of major depression dexamethasone / corticotropin-releasing hormone test in relation to relapse of major depression. Biological Psychiatry, 59:696-701

Imaging of the human brain

Programme coordinator: Prof. dr. Dick Veltman

The research of the ODP brain imaging has a strong focus on the combination of Nuclear and Radiological imaging techniques in a clinical context and in close cooperation with the departments of neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry. We have an ongoing effort in producing new ligands, with in vitro, animal and human research. The imaging of neurotransmission, (especially dopaminergic and serotonergic transporters and receptors) in a number of diseases like Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia and in research into the neurotoxicity of drugs (MDMA, Ecstasy) was quite successful, leading to registration of FP-CIT for clinical use.

Key publications:

  • Reneman L, Lavalaye J, Schmand B, de Wolff FA, van den Brink W, Gunning BW, den Heeten GJ, and Booij J. (2001). Cortical serotonin transporter density and verbal memory in individuals who stopped using 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or “Ecstasy”): preliminary findings. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 58: 901-906.
  • Lindauer RJL, Booij J, Habraken JBA, Uylings HBM, Olff M, Carlier IVE, den Heeten GJ, van Eck-Smit BLF, and Gersons BPR. (2004). Cerebral blood flow changes during script-driven imagery in police officers with posttraumatic stress disorder. Biol Psychiatry, 56: 853-861.
  • Van den Heuvel OA, Veltman DJ, Groenewegen HJ, Witter MP, Merkelbach J, Cath DC, van Balkom AJ, van Oppen P, van Dyck R. (2005). Disorder-specific neuroanatomical correlates of attentional bias in obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and hypochondriasis. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 62(8):922-33.

Neuropsychiatric syndromes in brain diseases

Programme coordinator: Prof. dr. Pim (W.A.) van Gool

Subject: Brain diseases often cause cognitive deficits, emotional changes and behavioural disturbances. Basic research focuses on the role of protein quality control of aggregation-prone proteins accumulating in Alzheimer's disease. Clinical studies focus on neuropsychiatric syndromes occurring in cerebrovascular diseases and movement disorders. Evaluation of diagnostic methods, functional outcomes after delirium and a specific clinical syndrome, the cholinergic deficiency syndrome, are studied. In a large prospective study of primary prevention of dementia a cohort of 3600 elderly is studied to document the potential benefits of intensive vascular care.
Key publications:

  • Van Gool WA. (2006). Can we prevent, delay, or shorten the course of dementia? PLoS Med, 3:e430.
  • Hoozemans JJ, van Haastert ES, Nijholt DA, Rozemuller AJ, Eikelenboom P, Scheper W. (2009). The Unfolded Protein Response Is Activated in Pretangle Neurons in Alzheimer's Disease Hippocampus. Am J Pathol, Mar 5. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Rozemuller AJ, van Gool WA, Eikelenboom P. (2005). The neuroinflammatory response in plaques and amyloid angiopathy in Alzheimer's disease: therapeutic implications. Curr Drug Targets CNS Neurol Disord, 4:223-33.