Eva Serlachius´s research group

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Child and adolescent psychiatry

Anxiety and depression in adolescents

Self reported anxiety and depressive problems show a major increase in adolescent girls during the last ten years. Between 5% to 10% of children and adolescents experience clinically significant anxiety disorders. If left untreated anxiety disorders may result in a number of academic and social consequences. Our overall aim is to develop and evaluate diagnostic and treatment methods for children and adolescents with anxiety syndromes.

Suicidality in adolescents. A prospective study of young people with suicidal behaviour in Child and Adolescent emergency care.

Suicide is one of the most common causes of death for young people between 15 and 24 years of age, and amounts to about one third of all deaths among this age group in Sweden. It is alarming that the number of suicide attempts among youngsters 15-19 years of age has increased since 1980. At the Child and Adolescent psychiatric emergency clinic in Stockholm, suicide ideation or suicide attempt is one of the most common reasons for contact.

Our project is based on the creation of a cohort of all youngsters who seek contact with the Stockholm County CAP emergency clinic because of suicidal ideation or suicide attempt. Using the cohort data, we plan to study and follow up these adolescents with respect to patterns of psychiatric symptoms, biological markers, cognitive and psychosocial functioning. The objective of our study is to enable improved assessments of suicidality which may make preventive measures possible, and in the long run, reduce the number of suicides.

Stockholm Child and Adolescent Psychosis Study (SCAPS)

Early onset psychosis (EOP) which affects children and adolescents generally has a worse prognosis than psychoses with adult onset. It is important to elucidate how the clinical picture in a young person predicts the continuing course of illness into adult life and which early interventions that could improve the outcome.

Our prospective study is based on a cohort of youngsters with schizophrenia or affective EOP, and age-matched controls. One objective is to create a comprehensive database with subjects who can be followed long-term. We also want to gather more knowledge about clinical and neurobiological characteristics of EOP disorders over time, and develop novel biomarkers for diagnosis and future outcome for affected individuals. Moreover, we will use new techniques to detect early signs of somatic complications to EOP and test cognitive interventions to compensate for common cognitive deficits of these disorders. The study is conducted at the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinic, Stockholm, Sweden in collaboration with prof. Ingrid Agartz, University of Oslo, Norway.

Research Projects

  • Development of internet-delivered CBT for children with anxiety disorders
  • Suicidality in adolescents. A prospective study of young people with suicidal behaviour in Child and Adolescent emergency care.
  • Stockholm Child and Adolescent Psychosis Study (SCAPS)

Selected publications

Pro-inflammatory cytokines are elevated in adolescent females with emotional disorders not treated with SSRIs.
Henje Blom E, Lekander M, Ingvar M, Åsberg M, Mobarrez F, Serlachius E
J Affect Disord 2012 Feb;136(3):716-23

Low Sense of Coherence (SOC) is a mirror of general anxiety and persistent depressive symptoms in adolescent girls - a cross-sectional study of a clinical and a non-clinical cohort.
Henje Blom E, Serlachius E, Larsson J, Theorell T, Ingvar M
Health Qual Life Outcomes 2010 Jun;8():58

The differentiation between depressive and anxious adolescent females and controls by behavioural self-rating scales.
Blom E, Larsson J, Serlachius E, Ingvar M
J Affect Disord 2010 May;122(3):232-40

Heart rate variability (HRV) in adolescent females with anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder.
Henje Blom E, Olsson E, Serlachius E, Ericson M, Ingvar M
Acta Paediatr. 2010 Apr;99(4):604-11

Increased plasma levels of thioredoxin-1 in patients with first episode psychosis and long-term schizophrenia.
Owe-Larsson B, Ekdahl K, Edbom T, Osby U, Karlsson H, Lundberg C, et al
Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol. Biol. Psychiatry 2011 Jun;35(4):1117-21

Group members

Anna LundhAssociated
Caroline BjörckAssociated
Erik AnderssonPostdoc
Eva SerlachiusResearch team leader
Fabian LenhardGraduate Student
Fredrik EnokssonAssociated
Hanna Björlin AvdicAssociated
Hannah BergmanAssociated
Hedvig EngbergPhD student
Jens HögströmAssociated, Postdoc
Kerstin MalmbergAssociated
Kristina AspvallGraduate Student
Louise FrisénAssociated
Ludmila SolominAssociated
Maral JolstedtGraduate Student
Neil ClelandAssociated
Sarah VigerlandAssociated
Tobias EdbomAssociated
Ulrika ThulinAssociated