Instead of searching for a common cause of a mental disorder among various patients, the NSMD consortium focuses on the symptoms that individual patients experience and how these symptoms affect each other. We believe that the dynamic network of interacting symptoms within each patient constitute the disorder. This network of symptoms is the focus of Team Network.
We will estimate the individual symptom networks of a wide variety of mentally ill patients, and test how these individual symptom networks cluster. We will also analyse whether and how these clusters relate to traditional DSM diagnoses.
We expect that the insights we gain will open up possibilities for tailoring treatments to the individual patient, which should improve the treatment success rates. If two individuals with the same psychological diagnosis are characterised by quite different network structures, this would indicate that they require a different therapeutic focus.
In addition to this, Team Network hopes to discover various tipping points in individual symptom networks, at which a sudden shift to another state is likely to occur (such as from a healthy to a depressed state).
- Prof. Anne Roefs (Maastricht University)
- Eiko Fried, PhD (Leiden University)
- Jerry Spanakis, PhD (Maastricht University)
- Lotte Lemmens, PhD (Maastricht University)
- Lourens Waldorp, PhD (University of Amsterdam)