Summary

 

According to the WHO, about 2 billion people drink alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption can

result in alcohol addiction, which is one of the most prevalent neuropsychiatric diseases

afflicting our society today. Prevention and intervention of alcohol binging in adolescents and

treatment of alcoholism are major unmet challenges affecting our health care system and

society alike. In this program we intend to define (i) individual neurobehavioral risk profiles in

adolescents that are predictive of alcohol use disorders later in life and (ii) identify new

pharmacological treatment approaches.

 

To achieve these goals we will apply existing infrastructure, common databanks and multiple

omics-derived datasets that have been supported by NGFN and EU programs, and combine them

with excellent expertise in biostatistics, mathematical modeling and neuroimaging.

 

Our consortium will thus use information from epigenomics, genomics, transcriptomics,

neurodynamics, and neuroimaging to feed mathematical prediction modules provided by

two Bernstein Centers for Computational Neurosciences (Berlin and Heidelberg/Mannheim),

the results of which will subsequently be functionally validated in independent clinical samples

and appropriate animal models.

 

This approach will help to deliver early intervention strategies and identify innovative molecules for

relapse prevention that will be tested in experimental human studies. Our interdisciplinary

consortium consists of mathematicians, physists, computational neuroscientists, molecular

biologists, geneticists, and clinicians. In 3 project modules - central resources, mathematical

predictions, and functional validation - 12 subprojects have been implemented in a highly 2

integrative manner.

 

The e:Med program will ultimately help in consolidating excellent addiction research clusters

in Germany that can effectively conduct large clinical trials, implement early intervention

strategies and impact political and healthcare decision makers.