The Psychoneuroendocrinology and Stress in Psychosis (PSICPNEC) research group is composed of researchers from the Mental Health Departments at Consorci Sanitari del Maresme (Hospital de Mataró) and Parc Taulí Hospital. It has been recently recognised by AGAUR as a consolidated research group (2021 SGR 00789) and is one of the research groups of the consortium affilated to IGTP.

The main scientific interest of the group is the study of the relationship between hormones and behaviour (psychoneuroendocrinology) in patients with a psychotic disorder, or at risk of developing a psychotic disorder (at-risk mental states).

Research lines include the study of the neurobiological mechanisms of stress (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) in the pathogenesis and outcome of psychotic disorders. The group also aims to study the role of hormones in the risk of transition to psychosis in vulnerable populations and the association with a more severe phenotype (e.g., cognitive impairment) in established psychoses. Other research lines are focused on the study of the role of gender and hormones in the therapeutic response to pharmacological, psychotherapeutic, and cognitive rehabilitation interventions in psychotic disorders. Recent research includes the study of stress-related biomarkers in animal models in collaboration with researchers of the Neuroscience Translational Unit at UAB-Parc Taulí.

Keywords: Psychoneuroendocrinology, stress, hormones, cortisol, psychosis.

Psychoneuroendocrinology and Stress in Psychosis (PSICPNEC) research group

Group leader

  • Javier Labad Arias, PhD

    Javier Labad Arias, PhD

    Javier Labad graduated in Medicine from Universitat Rovira i Virgili and specialised in Psychiatry and Endocrinology at Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge in Barcelona. He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Barcelona, with his PhD thesis focused on gender differences and the role of female reproductive cycle in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Labad is currently the director of the Mental Health and Addictions Department at Consorci Sanitari del Maresme in Mataró and leads the Psychoneuroendocrinology and Stress in Psychosis research group.

    His research is focused on stress and hormonal influences in severe mental disorders. He has led over 20 research projects and authored over 150 articles indexed in Pubmed with an H-index of 40. His research interests include the study of the role of stress and hormones on the pathogenesis and outcome of mental disorders, with a particular interest on early psychosis. He has been accredited as full professor ("catedràtic") by the AQU.

    Contact: jlabad(ELIMINAR)
    ORCID: 0000-0003-2214-1886

Research lines

  • Biomarkers of stress and risk of developing a psychotic disorder
  • Impact of hormones on the clinical expression of psychotic disorders
  • Neurocognition and social cognition in early psychotic disorders: prognostic and therapeutic implications
  • Psychopathological and biological consequences of abuse in adolescents and young adults

Active projects

Multidisciplinary CIBER study to optimize the treatment of schizophrenia by utilizing multi-omics data and biology of systems (SchizOMICS)

PI: Javier Labad
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: ICI21/00089
Duration: 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2024

El papel de los parámetros del líquido cefalorraquídeo y las firmas proteómicas en el resultado a largo plazo del primer episodio psicótico: estudio de seguimiento a 5 años

PI: Javier Labad
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: ICI21/00089
Duration: 01/01/2023 – 31/12/2025

Estudio piloto de implementación de una herramienta de cribado para la prevención, diagnóstico y tratamiento de pacientes con un trastorno psiquiátrico del neurodesarrollo: utilización del síndrome deleción 22q11.2 (22q11.2DS) como modelo

PI: Elisabet Vilella. Collaborators: Javier Labad, Paloma Valera
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PMP22/00088
Duration: 2023 - 2025

Past projects

Genomic, epigenetic and proteomic biomarkers in psychosis: a translational approach including high-risk individuals, patients with schizophrenia and animal models (GEPI-BIOPSY)

PI: Javier Labad
Funding agency: EU (ERA-NET Biomarkers)
Agency code: AC19/00129
Duration: 01/6/2020 - 31/5/2023

Estrés y experiencias psicóticas en población adolescente: una aproximación epidemiológica, clínica y experimental

PI: Javier Labad (Co-IP: Itziar Montalvo)
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PI18/01843
Duration: 01/01/2019 - 30/06/2022

Scientific publications

Highlighted publications

Llorens M, Barba M, Torralbas-Ortega J, Nadal R, Armario A, Gagliano H, Urraca L, Pujol S, Montalvo I, Gracia R, Polo D, González-Riesco L, Matalí JL, Palao D, Pàmias M, Labad J. Relationship between hair cortisol concentrations and cognitive functioning in adolescents with ADHD. Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2023;14(2):2281752. DOI: 10.1080/20008066.2023.2281752.

Tost M, González-Rodríguez A, Aguayo R, Álvarez A, Montalvo I, Barbero JD, Gabernet R, Izquierdo E, Merodio I, Monreal JA, Palao D, Labad J. Switching from risperidone to paliperidone palmitate in schizophrenia: Changes in social functioning and cognitive performance. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2023 Jan 10;120:110619. DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2022.110619.

Gine-Serven E, Martinez-Ramirez M, Boix-Quintana E, Davi-Loscos E, Guanyabens N, Casado V, Muriana D, Torres-Rivas C, Cuesta MJ, Labad J. Association between free thyroxine levels and clinical phenotype in first-episode psychosis: a prospective observational study. PeerJ. 2023 Jun 2;11:e15347. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.15347.

Gallart-Palau X, Muntané G, Martorell L, Amigó N, Correig X, Ribalta J, Sánchez-Gistau V, Labad J, Vilella E. Gradual Increase in Inflammation-Linked Glycoproteins and a Proatherogenic Lipoprotein Profile in the Early Stages of Psychosis as Characterized by 1H NMR Blood Analysis. J Proteome Res. 2023 Jul 7;22(7):2271-2280. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.2c00847.

Moreno I, Stojanovic-Pérez A, Bulduk B, Sánchez-Gistau V, Algora MJ, Ortega L, Muntané G, Vilella E, Labad J, Martorell L. High blood levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA in early psychosis are associated with inflammatory markers. J Psychiatr Res. 2023 Aug;164:440-446. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2023.07.003.


Additional information

Doctoral theses

Title: Influence of Stress Biomarkers on the Cognitive Performance of Adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Author: Marta Llorens
Supervisor: Javier Labad
University: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
To be presented in the 2023-2024 academic year


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