University Project: Novel Biomarkers of Depression and Anxiety Disorders. Psychopathologic and translational neurobiological constellations

Research Division:


01.04.2019 - 01.04.2021
Completed Project Applications are closed


Depression is among the most common socially significant diseases.

The aim of the project is to refine the diagnosis of depression by building on studies on functional magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRI) and neuroimmunology, and by finding a trans-disciplinary approach to discover new biomarkers for diagnosis.

The proposed innovative model consists of constellations explaining the pathogenetic mechanisms through vertical and horizontal translation. At the vertical level, we seek a correlation between biochemical processes in the CNS (recorded by MRS) and pathophysiological processes (recorded by fMRI), as well as with the peripheral immune response (through biological tests in peripheral blood). At the horizontal level, we investigate the importance of peripheral biomarkers, some of which (such as interleukins and TNF) have been established in the literature and others (such as zonulin, lysozyme, and elastase) have been reported recently.

This allows validation of both recent biomarkers against existing data (immunobiochemical measurements) as well as translation between different horizontal levels of disease mechanisms


1. To study the feasibility of neuroimmune and neuroimaging markers as diagnostic tools in depression and anxiety


Medical University of Plovdiv