RP7 Clinical Research of Mental Disorders – Running Grants and Projects


The Czech Science Foundation

Cognitive Superaging (18-06199S)
Investigator: MUDr. Miloslav Kopeček, Ph.D.
Principle investigator: NIMH
Duration: 1.1.2018–31.12.2020
Total budget NIMH: 4 503 000 CZK
Abstract: Results from neuropsychological studies indicate a general age-related decline in cognition. Despite this fact, there is a group of oldest-old individuals with better cognitive functioning than the mean of sexagenarians. This group is called superagers. Most superaging studies have been focused primarily on memory and did not deal with other cognitive domains. Cross-sectional superaging studies are not able to evaluate directly the role of cognitive maintenance and disentangle its role from cognitive reserve. Our study is an extension of a longitudinal study (n = 540) realized in 2012–2015. We will assess 100 adults older than 79 years with the same neuropsychological tests and questionnaires as in 2012 and 2015. We will test the hypothesis that cognitive maintenance (based on six years change of cognition) is a better predictor of cognitive aging (cognitive performance in 2018) than the cognitive reserve (cognitive performance in 2012).

The Stranger as a Symbol of Otherness – How Personality Influences Our Attitudes (19-10057S)
Investigator: doc. PhDr. Marek Preiss, Ph.D.
Principle investigator: NIMH
Duration: 1.1.2019–31.12.2021
Total budget NIMH: 4 282 000 CZK
Abstract: This project is concerned with the attitude toward otherness, while taking into account the personality functioning and the attitudes toward foreigners, minorities, and migrants. It enhances the sociological and anthropological concept of otherness by examining the psychodynamic interpretation of various differences, while putting the emphasis on the unfamiliarity of our own differentness/otherness. Furthermore, it accentuates the explanation of the attitudes toward otherness in terms of fear of losing the center core of one´s identity – the psychic home. Likewise, it builds upon the previous work and enhances the knowledge of otherness by an in-depth recognition of the personality and by measuring the variability of one´s daily attitudes “here and now.” In the first part of the project, participant´s personality is subjected to an in-depth assessment of personality functioning. The second part of the project monitors 5 different groups of participants (xenophobic, xenophilic, personality disorders, high levels of neuroticism, and general population) using experience sampling.



Czech Health Research Council 


Effectiveness of Remote Peer Support in Prevention of Postpartum Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial (NU21J-09-00064)
Investigator: MUDr. Antonín Šebela, Ph.D.
Principle investigator: NIMH
Duration: 1.5.2021–31.12.2024
Total budget NIMH: 5 845 000 CZK
Abstract: Postpartum depression (PPD), with an annual prevalence of 10-15%, have negative long-term effects on the whole family. To reduce the negative impact of PPD, cost-effective preventative interventions are needed. In response we developed and pilot tested an intervention that includes online screening for PPD risk and a peer support called Mom´s Supporting Moms (MSM). Objective: To evaluate the extent to which the MSM intervention in prevents PPD among women at risk of PPD development and its costeffectiveness. Design overview: In the screening phase, we will screen for the risk of the PPD among women in hospital. After the screening phase, the risk women will enter the intervention phase and will be randomized either to the intervention group (peer support) or the control group (usual postpartum care). Further, we will determine the cost-effectiveness of MSM. Relevance: Proposed study is novel, important, and timely, as it will provide data on cost-effectiveness of a telepsychiatric approach to address PPD, and is in line with the National Action Plan for Mental Health 2020–2030.

Developmental Dynamics of Clinical and Neurophysiological Features in Children and Adolescents at Genetic Risk of Bipolar Affective Disorder (17-32478A)
Investigator: MUDr. Tomáš Novák, Ph.D.
Principal investigator: Motol University Hospital (MUDr. Michal Goetz, Ph.D.)
Co-investigator/Partner: NIMH
Duration: 1.4.2017–31.12.2020
Total budget: 8 157 000 CZK
Total budget NIMH: 3 501 000 CZK
Abstract: Prospective, cohort, observational study, of children and adolescents at risk of bipolar disorder ( high-risk offspring, HRO). The objective is to identify clinical and laboratory markers of the risk of mood disorder. Sixty HRO and sixty age and sex matched offspring of parents without psychiatric illness as
controls will be assessed annually. Frequency of the of psychiatric diagnosis, scores of anxiety and affective symptoms, self reported QoL, executive and attention functions, memory and emotion recognition will be assessed. Sleep quality and quantity by the use of subjective and objective methods as well as electroencephalographic indicators of fronto-limbic-connectivity will be evaluated. The differences between HRO and controls, between symptomatic and asymptomatic HRO and between follow-up evaluations will be compared.

Sleep and Brain Changes Related to Memory Decline in Mild Cognitive Impairment (NV18-07-00272)
Investigator: doc. MUDr. Aleš Bartoš, Ph.D.
Principle investigator: NIMH
Duration: 1.1.2018–31.12.2021
Total budget NIMH: 9 433 000 CZK
Abstract: The expected aging of the population will increase people with memory disease and dementia, especially Alzheimer's disease. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a risk syndrome in which intervention can delay the development of Alzheimer's disease. Sleep disorders and changes in magnetic resonance imaging of the brain occur along with memory impairment in MCI. The aim of the project is to find the connection between slow-wave sleep and sleep spindles, corresponding brain structures and memory consolidation during sleep using polysomnography, magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and paired associative learning test. Then we will investigate whether it is possible to enhance memory consolidation during sleep in MCI by manipulating sleep rhythms using acoustic stimulation. Based on the results, we will illuminate mechanisms between sleep, brain structure, and memory impairment in MCI. This comprehensive sleep approach can bring new insights into early interventions and other clinical strategies at the stage of MCI.

Overlap of Neurodegenerative Dementias and Their Clinic-pathological Correlations: A Prospectiveretrospective Multicentric Study (NV19-04-00090)
Investigator: doc. MUDr. Aleš Bartoš, Ph.D.
Principle investigator: Thomayer Hospital (doc. MUDr. Radoslav Matěj, Ph.D.)
Co-investigator-Partner: NIMH; University Hospital Olomouc (doc. MUDr. Kateřina Menšíková, Ph.D.); Hospital
 Na Homolce (MUDr. Jiří Keller, Ph.D.); General University Hospital in Prague (prof. MUDr. Jan Roth, CSc.)
Duration: 1.5.2019–31.12.2022
Total budget: 15 127 000 CZK
Total budget NIMH: 1 580 000 CZK
Abstract: Neurodegenerative diseases are serious fatal disorders caused by progressive loss of specific neuronal populations.Correct recognition of neurodegenerative dementias during the patients’ life is still very difficult.Combinations of two or more neurodegenerative diseases are far more common than previously admitted, even though more precise epidemiological data is still missing. Overlap of neurodegenerative diseases may be involved into a more rapid progression or very atypical presentation in many patients.Moreover, newly described neuropathological entities related to the aging-Aging-related tau astrogliopathy(ARTAG) or Primary age-related tauopathy(PART)-are more frequent than previously expected and till this time a precise definition of the clinical picture of these impairments is missing.The principal objective is to estimate the proportion of comorbid neurodegenerative dementias in a single centre and in a neuropathological reference laboratory based on retrospective and prospective clinic-pathological correlations in order to improve the clinical diagnosis of different diseases.



The Technology Agency of The Czech Republic

Alivio mobile game reducing OCD symptoms (TL03000637)
Investigator: MUDr. Pavla Stopková, Ph.D.
Principle investigator: Pixelfield s.r.o. (Filip Háša)
Project partner: NIMH Duration: 1.4.2020–31.3.2022
Total budget: 6 481 426 CZK
Total budget NIMH: 2 585 919 CZK
Abstract: The main objective of the proposed project is to create a therapeutic tool in the form of a mobile game Alivio that would help people with subsyndromal, mild to moderate obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms to alleviate symptoms (obsessions and compulsions) by using cognitive-behavioral therapy (KBT). The secondary objective of Alivio is to reach the general public and in an innovative way, through one's own experience, to familiarize with the typical symptoms of OCD disease and its subtypes. Alivio, together with a promotional campaign, could contribute to raising awareness of OCD disease that affects a significant part of the population and is not adequately addressed.

You Are Not Alone: Software to Reduce Psychosocial Stress (TL04000197)
Investigator: MUDr. Antonín Šebela, Ph.D.
Principle investigator: NIMH
Duration: 1.10.2020–30.9.2021
Total budget NIMH: 2 568 083 CZK
Abstract: Create evaluated remote solution for psychosocial stress in pregnant women and postpartum women (hereinafter referred to as the "target group") stemming from social isolation. Based on the connection of know-how in the field of social sciences and humanities (psychology, volunteer community and peer work with target group) and technological know-how (software design and development), we will develop an interactive intervention software to reduce psychosocial stress in the target group. The developed software will be tested by the target group, and its efectivness will be measured by psychometric methods. We then incorporate the conclusions of psychometric measurements into the technological solution of the software. The software will be available as web and mobile application. 




Interreg DANUBE

Innovation for Dementia in the Danube Region, INDEED (INDEED is DTP2-087-1.2) Investigator: doc. MUDr. Aleš Bartoš, Ph.D. Principle investigator: Klinikum rechts der Isar der Technischen Universität München Co-investigators/Partners: NIMH; The Brain Company Austria, Wirtschaftsuniversitat Wien; Bulgarian Society of Dementia; Social Cluster Association HU; Romanian Alzheimer Society; Memory Centre Bratislava; University of Ljubljana, Alzheimer Association Bosna Hercegovina; Associated partners: Federal Ministry of Health- Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Medical University of Sofia, City of Zagreb, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia, University of Zagreb, MEDIWARE corp.CZ, Bavarian Research Alliance GmbH, Bavarian State Ministry of Health and Care, German Alzheimer Association, Slovak Medical Association Duration: 1.7.2018–30.6.2021 Total budget: 1 726 514 Euro Total budget NIMH: 52 074 Euro



RP6 Brain Electrophysiology – Running Grants and Projects




Grantová agentura ČR

Characterizing State Repertoire and Dynamics of Spontaneous Brain Activity by Neuroimaging
Investigator: MUDr. Martin Brunovský, Ph.D.
Principle investigator: NIMH
Co-investigator/Partner: Institute for Computer Science CAS
Duration: 1.4.2021–1.3.2024
Total budget: 11 368 000 CZK
Total budget NIMH: 6 833 000 CZK
Abstract: Current psychological theory provides complex description of mental functions and processes. It is generally accepted that mental functions have brain as their substrate, and that mental processes and states are reflected in brain activity dynamics. A rapidly developing area of brain research is the study of spontaneous brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging, allowing simultaneous measurement of activity dynamics of a plethora of brain networks. It has been suggested that during resting state condition, the brain explores its dynamic repertoire of possible states. However, the structure and dynamics of such exploration remains elusive. We propose to use a combination of data analysis techniques, simultaneous EEG/fMRI measurement of both spontaneous and richly stimulated mental activity and comparison with the ever-growing body of functional neuroanatomical knowledge to characterize the state repertoire and transition dynamics of spontaneous mental activity as observable by neuroimaging methods.


Learning Synchronization Patterns in Multivariate Neural Signals for Prediction of Response to Antidepressants (21-14727K)
Investigator: MUDr. Martin Brunovský, Ph.D.
Principle investigator: Institute for Computer Science CAS
Co-investigator/Partner: NIMH
Duration: 1.4.2021–31.03.2024
Total budget: 9 620 000 CZK
Total budget NIMH: 2 086 000 CZK
Abstract: The concept of synchronization of nonlinear dynamical systems will serve as basis for development of mathematical methods and computer algorithms for detection and characterization of interactions and dependence in multivariate nonlinear time series. Directional links and causal relations will be quantified using the tools of information theory. The developed methods will be tailored to specific properties of scalp electroencephalogram (EEG). Overall structure of EEG synchronization, reflecting the functional integration within and across different spatial and temporal scales, will be classified in machine learning algorithms as a candidate method for description of brain states and their changes due to mental disorders. In particular, synchronization and its changes in EEG of depressive patients will be tested as predictors of antidepressant therapeutic efficacy. The developed methods will be applicable not only in analysis of electrophysiological signals in neurology and psychiatry, but generally in analysis of complex multivariate and multiscale signals.


Czech Health Research Council


Novel Model of Schizophrenia Based on Gnathonemus Petersii Species Enriched by the Electrical Communication and Social Behaviour Evaluation (NU21-04-00405)
Investigator: prof. MUDr. Jiří Horáček, Ph.D., FCMA
Principle investigator: NIMH
Co-investigator/Partner: Charles University, Faculty of Science
Duration: 1.5.2021–31.12.2024
Total budget: 9 713 000 CZK
Total budget NIMH: 6 156 000 CZK
Abstract: Behavioural repertoires of currently used model organisms of schizophrenia do not allow to model substantial positive (verbal hallucinations, desorganised speech), negative (alogia) and higher cognitive symptoms with speech as a common denominator. Search for a more suitable model organism is required. The aim of the project is to establish phenomenological, constructive and predictive validity of a novel model based on the Gnathonemus petersii (G. petersii) species in three pharmacological models (glutamatergic, serotonergic, dopaminergic). G. petersii is a weakly electric fish species displaying complex social behaviour and using electric activity (EOD) in communication and spatial orientation. The proposed model is assumed to enrich modelling schizophrenia of the unique opportunity to directly measure specific positive and negative symptoms via studying electrocommunication and widen the possibilities of examination cognitive symptoms via studying electroorientation. Studying impairment of prepulse inhibition will be enriched by the opportunity to observe associated EOD pattern.

Clinical and Neurobiological Predictors of Response to Ketamine: Towards Personalized Treatment of Depression (NV18-04-00260)
Investigator: prof. MUDr. Jiří Horáček, Ph.D. FCMA
Principle investigator: NIMH
Duration: 1.5.2018–31.12.2021
Total budget NIMH: 10 078 000 CZK
Abstract: Depression is a debilitating disease with high lifetime prevalence. Despite the variety of available treatment options, three major problems remain unsolved: (1) the time lag before the onset of the effect of antidepressants, (2) the treatment resistance with 20% of patients not reaching remission after 2 years of multiple treatments, (3) the absence of personalized treatment guidelines. The discovery of rapid antidepressant effect of ketamine led to a paradigm shift in understanding depression pathogenesis and treatment. Nevertheless, studies show that up to 30–40% patients do not respond to ketamine and their difference from responders has not been established yet. The aim of the project is research on prediction of antidepressant effect of ketamine based on the intersection of its neuroplasticity potential, immunomodulation and clinical mechanisms of action. These clinical clues could determine the groups of patients to most likely benefit from the intervention and therefore bridge the time lag before the onset of antidepressant effect with consequent reduction of suicidality risk.

Obsessive-compulsive Disorder as a Decision-making Disease: Translational Probe of Aberrant Error Signalling and Coordination of Brain Networks Targeting Causal Interactions and Clues for Therapy (NU20-04-00147)
Investigator: prof. MUDr. Jiří Horáček, Ph.D., FCMA
Principle investigator: NIMH
Project partner: Institute of Physiology CAS
Duration: 1.5.2020–31.12.2023
Total budget: 13 941 000 CZK
Total budget NIMH: 8 092 000 CZK
Abstract: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disabling psychiatric condition characterized by intrusive thoughts and repetitive actions. A substantial part  of OCD patients is refractory to current treatment methods which poses a challenge to the understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms of OCD. This project aims to explore the causal interactions between OCD symptoms, brain structure and function. On the basis of the clinical features of OCD symptoms and brain imaging studies, the project postulates OCD as a decision making disorder resting on altered valuation and probability weighing functions, inflated loss and risk aversion, increased error signalling, and diminished resting state network activations. The neural substrate of the altered decision making will be explored in a set of behavioural, electrophysiological and fMRI decision making experiments in humans, combined with two animal models of OCD including decision making tasks, direct electrical recording (tetrodes) and molecular imaging in rats. The project aims at a translational model of OCD allowing to identify novel therapeutic targets for navigated neurostimulation and other treatment modalities.


The Technology Agency of The Czech Republic

BrainTech: Innovative Technologies for Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience (BrainTech) (TP01010062) Investigator: RNDr. Karel Valeš, Ph.D. Principle investigator: NIMH Dutarion: 1.1.2020–31.12.2022CZ CZK Abstract: The BrainTech project aims to a comprehensive system to support individual projects proof-of-concepts in the field of psychiatry, aging and clinical neuroscience. Through the selection of partial projects in the fields of digital health, telemedicine and drug research and development, projects with commercial potential will be developed and the transfer of results of research and development to the application sphere, both in the Czech Republic and abroad, will accelerate.
Compact system for measuring autonomous regulation of the sensory system (COMSYMARSES) Investigator: Mgr. Přemysl Vlček
Duration: 1.9.2020–31.8.2022 
Total budget NIMH: 1 696 000 CZK
Multipurpose event synchronization device for EEG research and brain computer interface application
Investigator: Ing. Vlastimil Koudelka, Ph.D. 
Duration: 1.8.2020–31.12.2021
Total budget NIMH: 1 100 000 CZK



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