Plenary Lecture

Systems Psychopharmacological Approaches in Multifactorial Mental Disorders

Professor Peter J. Gebicke-Haerter
Central Institute for Mental Health
Institute of Psychopharmacology
Mannheim, Germany &
Universidad de Chile
Facultad de Medicina
Programa de Farmacología Molecular & Clínica (ICBM)
Santiago, Chile

Abstract: The multifactorial origin of most mental disorders is well accepted. Therefore, it is not surprising that molecular biological studies have identified hundreds of targets both on the protein and gene levels in samples of patients by use of high throughput technologies. This provokes questions as to why pharmacological strategies pursueing the one target-one drug approach have been extremely resistant to accept the biological facts and to cope with those multiple biological changes. Only more recently, polypharmacological investigations gained more attention, many of them, however, trying to zoom in to a few important targets again in molecular networks. Network theoretical concepts clearly show, that already subtle influences on “important” nodes, e.g. “hubs” or “bottlenecks” can result in marked effects up till destruction of network integrities. It is suggested here, that we need a much deeper understanding of the aberrant functioning of disease networks as compared to control networks, using computer simulations of network behaviors in response to interference with single nodes or groups of nodes (disease patterns). In order to facilitate the search for interesting nodes, results from studies on microRNAs could serve as filters to restrict total numbers of simulations. Nodes or combinations of nodes best qualified to adjust network properties to network properties of controls eventually should be tested in translational medicine as drug targets. Supposedly, combinations of drugs or a few drugs addressing multiple targets (“dirty drugs”) will be used in future pharmacotherapies of mental disorders.

Brief Biography of the Speaker: TBA

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