The Research Group in Psychoneuroendocrinology and Stress in Psychosis (PSICPNEC) is composed of researchers from the Mental Health Departments at Consorci Sanitari del Maresme (Hospital de Mataró) and Parc Taulí Hospital. The group is one of the research groups of the consortium affilated to the IGTP. The main scientific interest of the group is the study of the relationship between hormones and behavior (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. One aim of the group is the study of 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 UAB-Parc Taulí.


Publications Javier Labad

Members of the Group

Javier Labad(ELIMINAR)
Alexandre González-Rodríguez
Jesús Cobo
Itziar Montalvo
Juan David Barbero

Predoctoral Researchers

  • Meritxell Tost
  • Francesc Estrada
  • Alex Ferrer Alberti
  • Rosa María Gabernet
  • Elena Estefania Gago
  • Eloi Giné
  • Esther Boix
  • Marta Niubó
  • Lara Moreno
  • Carmen Ivorra
  • Roberto Esteban
  • Pablo Vidal
  • Yolanda Domingo
  • Miriam Gregorio
  • Ana Palacio

Research lines

1. Stress-related biomarkers in early psychosis and in people at risk of developing a psychotic disorder

PI: Javier Labad

This research line is focused in the study of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis hormones and prolactin in the risk of developing a psychotic disorder in vulnerable individuals and in people with a first episode psychosis. In the last years, the groups has also studied the role of stress-related biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid and is currently conducting research projects dealing with proteomics and epigenetics in people with early psychosis.

2. Impact of hormones on the clinical expression of psychotic disorders

PI: Itziar Montalvo

The group has studied the role of several hormones including prolactin, cortisol and thyroid hormones in the clinical expression of psychotic disorders, with a particular interest in cognitive symptoms. Some studies of the group include exploring the contribution of hyperprolactinaemia to the cognitive impairment in psychiatric (first episode psychosis) and non-psychiatric (prolactinoma) populations. Previous studies of the group have analysed whether hormones might predict treatment response to a cognitive rehabilitation intervention in first episode psychosis.

3. Psychopathological and biological consequences of abuse in adolescents and young adults

PI: Javier Labad

The group has also studied the contribution of childhood trauma to the clinical expression of different mental disorders (psychosis, depression) with a transdiagnostic approach. In the last years, the group has also started to conduct research on the negative consequences of bullying in adolescents. Current active projects deal with the negative consequences of childhood trauma and bullying on stress-related biomarkers such as hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis hormones, prolactin and inflammatory markers.

Active 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
Start date: 01/6/2020
End date: 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: ISC-III
Agency code: PI18/01843
Start date: 01/1/2019
End date: 31/12/2021

Bullying, sesgos cognitivos y experiencias psicóticas en adolescentes: un registro de base poblacional en Sabadell

PI: Itziar Montalvo
Funding agency: PERIS (Intensificació de l'Activitat Investigadora)
Agency code: SLT008/18/00074
Start date: 01/06/2019
End date:  31/12/2021


Javier Labad, Department of Mental Health, Consorci Sanitari del Maresme