Heisenberg-Group "Neuropsychiatry"

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Research aims

Our group is interested in neuro-endocrine-immune regulation and its role in the pathogenesis and progression of neuropsychiatric disorders. We use a wide range of methods from molecular biology, immunology, endocrinology, neuroimaging, and neuropsychology to study biological disease mechanisms of CNS disorders including major depression and multiple sclerosis. We are particularly interested in the "shared biology" of behavioral symptoms commonly seen in many neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression and cognitive impairment. Finally, we aim to use this knowledge to develop and test novel therapeutic approaches including behavioral and pharmacological interventions and explore the underlying biological mechanisms.

Current projects

  • Antigen-specific immune modulation during pregnancy as a mechanism for establishing tolerance in multiple sclerosis
  • Molecular mechanisms of T cell dysfunction in multiple-sclerosis associated major depression
  • Neuronal mechanisms of psychological stress and depression in multiple sclerosis
  • Multicenter, randomized controlled trial of an internet-based CBT intervention for depression in multiple sclerosis
  • Immunometabolism and T cell function in major depressive disorder


  • Molecular and cellular immunology
  • Endocrinology
  • Neuroimaging
  • Neuropsychology
  • Behavioral and pharmacological intervention studies

Head of Research

Prof. Dr. Stefan Gold

Head: Neuropsychiatry


Group members

No results


  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung
  • Werner Otto Stiftung

Selected publications

Gold SM, Enck P, Hasselmann H, Friede T, Hegerl U, Mohr DC, Otte C (2017). Control conditions for randomised trials of behavioural interventions in psychiatry: A decision framework. Lancet Psychiatry. 4(9):725-732. DOI:


Engler JB, Kursawe N, Solano ME, Patas K, Wehrmann S, Heckmann N, Lühder F, Reichardt HM, Arck PC, Gold SM, Friese MA (2017). Glucocorticoid receptor in T cells mediates protection from autoimmunity in pregnancy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 114(2):E181-E190. DOI: 


Weygandt M, Meyer-Arndt L, Behrens J, Wakonig K, Bellmann-Strobl J, Ritter K, Scheel M, Brandt AU, Labadie C, Hetzer S, Gold SM*, Paul F*, Haynes JD* (2016). Stress-induced brain activity, brain atrophy, and clinical disability in multiple sclerosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113(47): 13444-13449.  *equal contribution DOI:


Fischer A, Schröder J, Vettorazzi E, Wolf OT, Pöttgen J, Lau S, Heesen C, Moritz S, Gold SM (2015). An online programme to reduce depression in patients with multiple sclerosis: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet Psychiatry 2(3): 217-223. DOI:


Pöttgen J, Dziobek I, Reh S, Heesen C, Gold SM (2013). Impaired social cognition in multiple sclerosis. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 84(5):523-8. DOI:


Voskuhl RR, Gold SM (2012). Sex-related factors in multiple sclerosis susceptibility and progression. Nat Rev Neurol 8(5): 255-263. DOI:


Gold SM, Kern KC, O’Connor MF, Montag M, Kim A, Yoo YS, Giesser BS, Sicotte NL (2010). Smaller cornu ammonis 2-3 / dentate gyrus volumes and elevated cortisol in multiple sclerosis patients with depressive symptoms. Biol Psychiatry 68(6):553-9. DOI: