Molecular Precision Mental Health

Molecular Precision Mental Health

Endocannabinoid Research

The physiological and pathophysiological importance of the body's own endocannabinoid system (ECS) is not yet fully understood. However, our experimental studies on healthy volunteers and psychiatric patients have helped us derive its significance in disease processes related to mental health disorders.

In recent years, we have specifically studied the role of endogenous cannabinoids (eCBs) in psychiatric disorders. Our findings indicate that the levels of eCBs, particularly anandamide, are significantly elevated in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with schizophrenic psychoses when compared to healthy individuals. Anandamide acts as a natural counter-regulator against other neurotransmitter systems that are highly activated in such diseases.

These observations have provided us with valuable insights into the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of endocannabinoid functions in psychiatric disorders. It has also opened up possibilities for the development of therapeutic strategies targeting the endocannabinoid system.


This research was and is supported by the Stanley Medical Research Institute of the Theodore and Vada Stanley Foundation, USA (Grant IDs 01-315 and 03-NV-003 to FML), the Cologne Fortune Program, the European Commission (GxE Experimental EU FP7 HEALTH-F2-2010-241909), and special grant from the Deputy Vice-Chancler Research of the University of Sydney.


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