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SMC participants

Head of the Cardiology Department at the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and researcher at the National Centre for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) and at the August Pi Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS)

Senior scientist at the Institute for Biomedical Research of Barcelona (IIBB-CSIC), principal investigator at CIBERSAM and head of the Systems Neuropharmacology group at IDIBAPS-Fundació Clínic.

Psychiatrist and head of the Imaging of Mood and Anxiety Disorders research group at IDIBAPS

Clinical psychologist at the Psychiatry and Psychology Service of the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and member of the research group Imaging of mood and anxiety disorders at IDIBAPS

Contents related to this centre

The largest meta-analysis to date that studies the risk of children of people with a mental disorder also suffering from some type of mental disorder during their lifetime has been published, with Spanish participation. According to the study, the risk is more than double that of the rest of the population. To explain the study and resolve any doubts that may arise, the Science Media Centre Spain organised an information session with one of the authors, psychiatrist Joaquim Raduà.


An international team, led by the Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS in Barcelona together with King's College London (UK) and Dalhousie University (Canada), has published the largest meta-analysis to date studying the risk of children of people with mental disorders developing the same, or another type of disorder. The study included more than three million children of parents with different types of disorders and more than 20 million people as a control population. The results, published in the journal World Psychiatry, indicate that, overall, the former have a 1.5 to 3 times higher risk of developing a disorder in their lifetime. According to the authors, in the case of bipolar, depressive or anxiety disorders, the risk of their offspring suffering from some type of disorder is more than 50%.

Apps and depression

Apps developed to treat depression may be beneficial in the management of severe and moderate cases. This is the conclusion of a review and meta-analysis that included 13 studies with up to 16 different apps. The results are published in the journal JAMA Network Open.


A study in mice found "mild metabolic and neuropsychological malprogramming" in the offspring of females who, during gestation and lactation, had ingested emulsifiers, substances used to improve the texture of ultra-processed foods. The article, led by a team from IDIBAPS in Barcelona and published in PLoS Biology, states that the consumption during these periods of carboxymethylcellulose and polysorbate 80 - two common emulsifiers - diluted in water was associated with metabolic and cognitive deficits in the mouse offspring.


A phase 1 clinical trial has tested the use of psilocybin to treat anorexia nervosa. Ten women with the disorder were given 25 milligrams of the hallucinogen along with psychological support. The results show that the treatment is safe and tolerable. Four patients showed an improvement, but the authors acknowledge that, because of the small sample size and the absence of a control group, "the results are preliminary and further research is needed". The results are published in the journal Nature Medicine.


A study led by Spanish researchers and published in Science Advances has tested a new technique to improve gene therapy treatments for Parkinson's disease. Using ultrasound, they have managed to open the blood-brain barrier in specific areas, allowing the viruses used in the therapy to pass through and better reach the desired brain areas. After testing it on monkeys and three patients -patients were not given gene therapy, but the efficacy of the technique was tested using a radiotracer that does not normally cross the blood-brain barrier-, their conclusions are that the technique is safe and feasible and "could allow early and frequent interventions to treat neurodegenerative diseases".



Beta-blockers (β-blockers) are drugs to treat heart conditions that are also used for anxiety. According to research published in PLOS Medicine, periods of treatment with these drugs are associated with a lower risk of being charged by the police with a violent crime - a 13% lower risk than periods without treatment. The research, which included nearly 1.5 million people in Sweden between 2006 and 2013, does not support the use of these drugs to treat anxiety.


A Swedish study has found an association between lack of sleep or poor quality sleep during adolescence and an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis later in life. They put the relative increased risk at 40 %. The results are published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.


A Canadian study published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology found that adjusted mortality from myocardial infarction is not different between men and women aged 18-55 years, but hospital readmission in the following year is higher in women.


Research among more than 7,000 US adults shows small changes in extraversion, agreeableness, openness to change and conscientiousness between the period before the covid-19 pandemic and the year 2022, especially in younger people. The study is published in PLOS ONE.