Biomarkers in Neuropsychiatric Disorders: from Molecules to Diagnosis and Intervention

Catarina Resende de Oliveira

MD, PhD, Group Leader

Neuropsychiatric disorders pose a tremendous psychological, financial and social burden to the individual and the community, which reflects the importance of early diagnosis and intervention. Translational research is crucial to give a step forward in the comprehension of such diseases.

Our group results from a restructuration of the former Aging and Brain Diseases: Advanced Diagnosis and Biomakers group. Our main goal is the identification of new biomarkers, now focused on neuropsychiatric disorders, leading to the design of patient-tailored preventive and therapeutic interventions, promoting the translation to the clinic of fundamental research.

At the clinical level, we aim to identify biological markers that specifically reflect the onset of pathology in patients with neuropsychiatric and neurometabolic diseases. Assay platforms are developed as tools to elucidate the unsolved clinical, genetic and pathological heterogeneity observed in these disorders that seriously affect the efficacy and outcome of clinical trials. “OMICS” methodologies are applied to the study of brain and bigenomic disorders, generating tools for diagnosis, prognosis and progression markers, crucial for planning patient’s assistance and management of economic resources.

At the pre-clinical level, we aim to unravel the neurobiology behind neuropsychiatric disorders, with particular attention to neurodegenerative, neuroinflammatory and neurovascular alterations, by using cellular and animal models. The role of life events, such as drug abuse and immune challenges, as triggers of neuropsychiatric disorders will be investigated. Focus will be given to the long-term outcome of stimulant medications.

Our research relies on collaborative efforts between fundamental researchers and clinicians for access to human biological samples and clinical data. The team is integrated in international consortia that define standard methodologies for sample collection, data analysis and information storage.

Group Members

Group members are: Catarina Resende de Oliveira (MD, PhD, Group Leader), Ana Cristina Santos, Ana Paula Silva Martins (PhD), Anabela Matos (MD), Bruno Manadas (PhD), Carlos Fontes Ribeiro (MD, PhD), Carolina Ribeiro, Catarina Gomes (PhD), Cátia Santa, Diana Duro, Filipa Baptista (PhD), Filipe Palavra (MD), Frederico Costa Pereira (PhD), Gustavo Santo (MD), Helena Carvalheiro (PhD), Helena Santiago (MD), Inês Baldeiras (PhD), Inês Correia (MD), Inês Pita, Joana Pinto, Joaquim Cerejeira (MD, PhD), José Alves (MD), Livia Sousa (MD), Luis Negrão (MD), Luísa Diogo Matos (MD, PhD), Luisa Santos (MD), Mafalda Bacalhau (PhD), Marcos Barbosa (MD, PhD), Maria do Carmo Macario (MD), Maria Isabel Santana (MD, PhD), Maria João Leitão, Maria João Santos, Maria Manuela Grazina (PhD), Maria Margarida Coelho, Maria Olinda Rebelo (MD), Maria Rosário Almeida (PhD), Miguel Pereira (MD), Ricardo Leitão (PhD), Ricardo Morais (MD), Rita Gaspar, Sandra Anjo (PhD), Sónia Batista (MD, PhD), Vera Mendes.

Selected Publications

Leitão RA, Sereno J, Castelhano JM, Gonçalves SI, Coelho-Santos V, Fontes-Ribeiro C, Castelo-Branco M, Silva AP. Aquaporin-4 as a New Target against Methamphetamine-Induced Brain Alterations: Focus on the Neurogliovascular Unit and Motivational Behavior. Mol Neurobiol (2018) 55:2056–2069. doi: 10.1007/s12035-017-0439-0.

Coelho-Santos V, Cardoso FL, Leitão RA, Fontes-Ribeiro CA, Silva AP. Impact of developmental exposure to methylphenidate on rat brain's immune privilege and behavior: Control versus ADHD model. Brain Behav Immun (2018) 66:169–182. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2017.10.016.

Baldeiras I, Santana I, Leitão MJ, Gens H, Pascoal R, Tábuas-Pereira M, Beato-Coelho J, Duro D, Almeida MR, Oliveira CR. Addition of the Aβ42/40 ratio to the cerebrospinal fluid biomarker profile increases the predictive value for underlying Alzheimer's disease dementia in mild cognitive impairment. Alzheimers Res Ther (2018) 10:33. doi: 10.1186/s13195-018-0362-2.

Mattsson N, Groot C, Jansen WJ, Landau S, Villemagne V, Engelborghs S, Mintun M, Lleo A, Molinuevo JL, Jagust W, Frisoni GB, Ivanoiu A, Chételat G, Resende de Oliveira C, Rodrigue KM, Kornhuber J, Wallin A, Klimkowicz-Mrowiec A, Kandimella R, Popp J, Aalten PP, Aarsland D, Alcolea D, Almdahl IS, Baldeiras I, van Buchem MA, Cavedo E, Chen K, Cohen AD, Förster S, Fortea J, Frederiksen KS, Freund-Levi Y, Gill KD, Gkatzima O, Grimmer T, Hampel H, Herukka SK, Johannsen P, van Laere K, de Leon M, Maier W, Marcusson J, Meulenbroek O, Møllergård HM, Morris JC, Mroczko B, Nordlund A, Prabhakar S, Peters O, Rami L, Rodríguez-Rodríguez E, Roe CM, Rüther E, Santana I, et al. Prevalence of the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele in amyloid β positive subjects across the spectrum of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimers Dement (2018) S1552-5260(18)30063-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2018.02.009.

Anjo SI, Martins-Marques T, Pereira P, Girão H, Manadas B. Elucidation of the dynamic nature of interactome networks: A practical tutorial. J Proteomics. (2018) 171:116-126. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2017.04.011.

Selected Projects

The neuroinflammatory reaction to acute systemic inflammation during delirium and its impact in the cognitive trajectory and progression to dementia: a case-control longitudinal study using imaging and molecular biomarkers, funded by FCT, Portugal (2018-2021).

Affective disorders: biomarkers and early detection, funded by FCT, Portugal (2018-2021).

Alemtuzumab therapy in Multiple Sclerosis: tracking immune cell trafficking, induced molecular mechanisms and aftermath effects, GZ-2017-11730, funded by Sanofi/Genzyme (2018-2021).

Schizophrenia diagnosis and prognosis: finding the way to a personalized medicine, PTDC/NEU-SCC/7051/2014, funded by FCT (2016-2019).

Novel cerebrospinal fluid and serum biomarkers for Multiple Sclerosis, RG-1601-07502, funded by National Multiple Sclerosis Society (2016 – 2019).