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Depression and other Stress Related Disorders


Admission requirements

  • Successful completion of How To Write A Research Proposal is helpful.

  • The course will be given at first year Master level. An introductory seminar will review both level and course content at the start of the course.


Period: 20 November 2023 - 15 December 2023

This advanced course combines clinical aspects with fundamental issues in neurobiology, pathogenesis and treatment of stress-related brain diseases. The course is a ‘joint venture’ of the departments of Psychiatry, Radiology and Cell and Chemical Biology (section Neurophysiology).

Specific topics are:

  • Clinical phenotyping, symptoms and diagnosis of depression and anxiety.

  • Pharmacology of depression and anxiety: efficacy and new drug development.

  • Epidemiology, genetics and etiology of depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • Comorbidity of stress-related syndromes with other CNS diseases (e.g. Duchenne, migraine, epilepsy, anorexia nervosa, post-traumatic stress disorder, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome).

  • Pathogenesis, molecular mechanisms and novel drug targets.

  • Theoretical and practical experience in stress and depression research in the departments of psychiatry, radiology (section Neuroradiology), molecular cell biology (section neurophysiology) and endocrinology (expert meetings).

  • Assignments to explore dedicated topics in the form of critical evaluations, research proposals, knowledge dissemination and literature reviews.

Course objectives

  • Reproduce knowledge of the clinical presentation of different forms of psychiatric diseases

  • Reproduce knowledge on the treatment options of psychiatric diseases

  • Reproduce different animal models for depression

  • Explain the contribution of stress in the pathogenesis of depression

  • Explain the stress system

  • Explain the genetic contribution in the pathogenesis of depression

  • Describe the putative neuronal and molecular mechanisms underlying stress-related psychiatric diseases in your own words

  • Formulate a clinical research question and present a possible approach for addressing this in a research proposal

  • Formulate a preclinical research question and present a possible approach for addressing this in a research proposal

  • Present and defend the research proposal

  • Describe a scientific stress and depression related topic in laymen’s terms


All course and group schedules are published on MyTimeTable.

The exam dates have been determined by the Education Board and are published in MyTimeTable.
It will be announced in MyTimeTable and/or Brightspace when and how the post-exam feedback will be organized.

Mode of instruction

Interactive lectures, patient demonstrations, workshops, symposium and group assignments.

Assessment method

As a team of three students:

  • A written research proposal; contributing 30% to the final mark (weight: 0.3)

  • An oral presentation (based on the clinical section on the written proposal) contributing 20% to the final mark (weight: 0.2)


  • A pre-recorded poster presentation (based on the preclinical part of the written proposal) contributing 20% to the final mark (weight: 0.2)

  • An exam contributing 30% to the final mark (weight: 0.3)

Reading list

See the literature listed on Brightspace


Registration for FOS courses, H2W, Scientific Conduct, Course on Lab Animal Sciences and CRiP takes place in lottery rounds in the beginning of July. After the lottery rounds: if you want to register for a course you are kindly asked to contact the student administration at



Please be advised that the content of this course contains potentially distressing material relating to the nature of the diseases that are being covered. This may include graphic photos of violence and combat as well as descriptions of a person’s experience with PTSD as a result of sexual assault.