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.
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.
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.
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.