Come work at Rücklab!

We are looking for a postdoc in precision psychiatry for Christian Rück’s research group and John Wallert’s team.

The role includes work within three very relevant research projects: 1) The Compulsory mental care project, 2) The saving lives project and 3) a project that aims to identify predictors of short-term and long-term outcomes after CBT treatment.

Read more and submit your application here.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Long Long Chen’s dissertation

Last Friday, Long Long Chen successfully defended his thesis Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – Novel Insights on Executive Functions, Gut Microbiome, and genetics.

Long Long is a specialist in psychiatry, senior specialist at the OCD program at Psykiatri Sydväst, as well as research colleague in the Rück group.

The thesis underlines the fact that Obsessive-Compulsive disorder (OCD) is complex and that it is difficult to identify biological markers as an explanatory model. However, genetic research towards patients with severe and treatment-resistant OCD is promising.

Congratulations, Long Long! 🎺🎺🎺

Christian in Idébyrån

In a recent episode of SVT’s Idébyrån, Christian participates on the theme “Why do you feel like shit?”. The subject perhaps raises more questions than answers.

Are most people unhappy or happy today? Or something in between? Is a happiness project or adventure project needed, or is it enough to eat hot dogs at a football game and be satisfied?

Joining the studio are Victoria Larm, author, Bengt Brülde, professor of practical philosophy and presenter Anna Lindman.

Leoni’s ISP seminar

New PhD students are thriving at Rücklab right now! Today Leoni had her individual study plan (ISP) seminar, presenting her upcoming doctoral studies.

Leoni’s doctoral project goes under the title “Predictive modeling of suicide risk and risk factors using registry and genetic data” and is all about suicide prediction using new technologies and unique multimodal data.

A challenge in the current research field of suicide prevention is that it is hard to study such rare events. To date, the focus has been on suicidal thoughts or attempts rather than actual deaths, and there are reasons to believe that these events differ in terms of prediction. When it comes to compulsory care, we know little about how the current interventions does in the long run, and there is a need for improved suicide prediction tools that can be implemented in a clinical context. 

Leoni will work with the projects 1) Suicide and compulsory mental care and 2) Saving Lives.

  • The first project will be about risk factors for suicide among psychiatric patients under compulsory mental care and will describe and compare suicide risk for these patients, as well as identify risk factors.
  • The second project will be about improving suicide prediction in a total nationwide multimodal suicide cohort. This project aims at discovering genetic and environmental risk factors and also develop predictive models for suicide death.

Leoni’s main supervisor is John Wallert. Co-supervisors are Christian Rück and Ronnie Pingel.

Olly’s ISP seminar

Today, Olly held her individual study plan (ISP) seminar for her doctoral studies. The overall purpose of the studies is to enhance the prediction of health and socioeconomic outcomes in patients with common psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

We know that 25-50% of patients with depression and anxiety disorders don’t respond to CBT. These patients may benefit from alternative or tailored treatment formats. We want to explore ways to help them, but in order to do that we need to predict who they are. Existing predictive models of treatment outcome are usually based on clinical data with a small set of predictors which results in low predictive power and limited clinical utility.

Olly’s PhD project will use a big sample from Psykiatri Sydväst’s Internet Psychiatry and predict treatment outcomes for multiple disorders. It will use clinical, genetic and register data to predict both treatment response and long-term socioeconomic disadvantage such as labour market marginalization.

The work consists of four studies.

  • Study 1: Clinical, socioeconomic and genetic predictors of treatment outcomes in internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy for depression and anxiety disorders
  • Study 2: Development of a machine learning model to predict response to ICBT treatment at the individual subject level
  • Study 3: Development of a machine learning model aimed at predicting labour market marginalization
  • Study 4: Validation of the model from study 2 in clinical practice

Olly’s main supervisor is Christian, and her co-supervisor is John.

We look forward to this!

The association between depression and anxiety and myocardial infarction

In a freshly published article, Oskar et al. have delved into the connection between depression, anxiety and myocardial infarction (MI).

Linking demographic, socioeconomic and clinical data from four nationwide Swedish registries, they found that both a previous diagnosis, and present self-reported symptoms of anxiety or depression are associated with an increased risk of death and recurrent cardiovascular events in adults with first-time MI.

Patients with a diagnosis had a higher risk for MI, even though 77% reported no symptoms at the time of MI. That is, only screening for present symptoms is inadequate for assessing this excessive risk. Assessment of both psychiatric history and self-reported symptoms seems warranted for these patients.

Read the article here.

Graphical abstract

Welcoming Leoni Grossman!

We are happy to welcome another addition to the research group: 🥁🥁🥁 Leoni Grossman!

Leoni is a PhD student in John Wallert‘s team. She has a Masters in Biomedicine with a minor Neuroinformatics and another masters in Applied Computational Life Sciences.

The main scientific objective of Leoni’s PhD is to advance our knowledge in suicide prediction. Her is focused on statistical modelling in two different projects:

  1. Suicide and compulsory care – A registry study of risk factors for suicide among psychiatric patients under compulsive mental care.
  2. Project Saving Lives – Aiming to derive and validate better risk models for suicide in a nationwide suicide cohort using multimodal data.


Max’s ISP seminar

Today, Max Sannemalm – now a PhD student 🎉 – held his individual study plan (ISP) seminar. The ISP seminar is an opportunity to get input and feedback before starting the projects. Marianne Kristiansson and Joar Guterstam participated from the advisory board and Nitya Jayaram-Lindström participated as an adjunct member.

At the seminar, Max presented the four studies which forms his doctoral studies:

He will be conducting the B4DT study, a non-inferiority study comparing the Bergen 4-day treatment for OCD to conventional CBT for OCD. Along with the RCT, he will do a cost-effectiveness analysis and a qualitative analysis about B4DT and its implementation. In addition, the plan is to do a pilot trial of an ultra-intensive treatment for patients with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).

Looking forward to seeing Max working wonders!

New radio documentary miniseries “Hoarders”!

The new radio documentary miniseries “Hoarders” is now available on Swedish Radio P1. Hoarders is a three-part docuseries following people suffering from hoarding-related problems, exploring available remedies and support, and including the perspective of close relatives to hoarders. Volen Ivanov is featured in the documentary to lend his perspective on hoarding and provides information on effective types of treatment. 

In connection with the release of the first episode, Volen Ivanov was also featured alongside documentary director David Ohlsson, and Hanna Danmo in Studio One to give more information on the documentary miniseries as well as provide more insight into the problem both from the clinical and practical perspective, which can be listened to here.

Hoarding disorder is still relatively understudied, and it is believed that as many as 2,5 % of the population suffers from it. It is promising that hoarding has been spotlighted over the past couple of months, including in the SVT documentary Samlarna, released earlier this year. We are still actively recruiting for our study, testing a new treatment for patients with hoarding disorder. Read more about the study, and about how to apply, here.

All three episodes are available on Swedish public radio (Sveriges radio) and can be accessed by clicking the links below. All episodes are in Swedish.