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Working Group Genetics


Working group Brain Imaging

Working group „Alexithymia“

Telemedical Care Research Group

Working group: obesity with psychiatric disorders

Section Public Mental Health and Stigma Research



The working group brain imaging investigates structural and functional aspects of brain function in mental disorders and brain aging. So far we focus on topics like depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, alexithymia, borderline personality disorder and neurodegenerative diseases. We are especially interested complex interaction with e.g. childhood trauma, metabolic factors and genetics. Here we focus on gene-environment interactions and their impact on brain neuroplasticity as well as on metabolites and their different pathways. Additionally we will increasingly evaluate resting state MRIs in those conditions. Based on our rich databases we can analyze effects of age, sex, education, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity as important factors shaping the brain´s structure and function.



High-dimensional pattern classification to calculate Spatial Pattern of Abnormality for


We analyze data from our two independent general population studies SHIP und SHIP-Trend (http://www.medizin.uni-greifswald.de/cm/fv/ship.html). In both cohorts whole-body MRIs have been performed with structural brain imaging sequences (Hegenscheid et al., 2009). Currently, both cohorts are being followed-up generating longitudinal data with additional resting state sequences.

Based on GANI_MED we can analyzed brain imaging data from patients sample (http://www.medizin.uni-greifswald.de/gani_med/) which opens the scope of the analyses to case-control comparisons


  • Martin Lotze (http://www.baltic-imaging-center.de/)
  • Alexander Teumer (Institute of Community Medicine)
  • Mohamad Habes (currently at Pennsilvania University, Brain Imaging lab, Christos Davatzikos)
  • Christian Gaser (http://dbm.neuro.uni-jena.de/people/christian-gaser/)
  • Thomas Mühleisen (Forschungszentrum Jülich)
  • Sven Cichon (Institute of Human Genetics, University of Basel)
  • Stefan Teipel (DZNE Universität Rostock)
  • Udo Dannlowski (Translational Psychiatry, Universität Münster)

Collaboration with Consortia:

Selected publications:

  • D Janowitz, K Wittfeld, J Terock, HJ Freyberger, K Hegenscheid, H Völzke, M Habes, N Hosten, N Friedrich, M Nauck, G Domanska, HJ Grabe. Association between waist circumference and gray matter volume in 2344 individuals from two adult community-based samples. NeuroImage 122 (2015), 149-157.
  • S van der Auwera*, K Wittfeld, G Homuth, A Teumer, K Hegenscheid, HJ Grabe. No Association Between Polygenic Risk for Schizophrenia and Brain Volume in the General Population. Biological Psychiatry December 1, 2015; 78:e41–e42.
  • HJ Grabe, K Wittfeld, K Hegenscheid, N Hosten, M Lotze, D Janowitz, H Völzke, U John, S Barnow, HJ Freyberger. Alexithymia and brain gray matter volumes in a general population sample. Human Brain Mapping 12/2014; 35(12).
  • D Janowitz, C Schwahn, U Borchardt, K Wittfeld, A Schulz, S Barnow, R Biffar, W Hoffmann, M Habes, G Homuth, M Nauck, K Hegenscheid, M Lotze, H Völzke, HJ Freyberger, S Debette, HJ Grabe. Genetic, psychosocial and clinical factors associated with hippocampal volume in the general population. Translational Psychiatry 10/2014; 4:e465.
  • Dannlowski* U & Grabe HJ*, Wittfeld K, Klaus J, Konrad C, Grotegerd D, Redlich R, Suslow T, Opel N, Ohrmann P, Bauer J, Zwanzger P, Laeger I, Hohoff C, Arolt V, Heindel W, Deppe M, Domschke K, Stacey D, Hegenscheid K, Völzke H, Meyer zu Schwabedissen H, Kugel H, Baune BT (2014). Multimodal imaging of a tescalcin (TESC)-regulating polymorphism (rs7294919) – specific effects on hippocampal gray matter structure. Molecular Psychiatry 20(3):398-404 (*both authors contributed equally)


Katharina Wittfeld

Email: katharina.wittfeld@uni-greifswald.de



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