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An Integrative Approach to the Etiology of Internalising Disorders in the Lifelines Cohort

Psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders often co-occur with functional disorders such as fibromyalgia and inflammatory bowel syndrome. It is unclear why these disorders often occur together, and why they run in families.

In the coming five years, a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the UMCG and VCU will study the interplay between their common and unique genetic and environmental risk factors in the Dutch cohort study Lifelines. Lifelines collects health data from 167,000 people in the Northern Netherlands from multiple generations. Lifelines offers unique possibilities, because it contains extensive data on many health factors in human life. From mental health, somatic health, genetic risk, social and economic environment, and stressful life events. With this data, we can study the interaction between common genetic and environmental risk factors. We want to use this to map out the causes of psychiatric and functional disorders.


How our research benefits to society

Psychiatric and functional disorders are among the most common disorders worldwide, and have a major personal and social impact. These disorders often occur together, but it is not clear what the causes are. It is a challenge to find appropriate treatment for patients suffering from these disorders. With our research we want to unravel the causes of internalising psychiatric disorder and functional disorders. These insights can lead to breakthroughs for new treatments.

This project is part of