Depression is a serious brain condition which affects around six million people in this country. 8.9 % of men and 16.5 % of women suffer from it and, unlike other illnesses, its incidence has been increasing over the last decades.

The depressed are characterised by mood, behavioural and somatic disorders which become chronic in 25% of the cases, if not detected and properly treated. The condition may emerge at any age, causing great incapacity for users suffering from this. Major Depression will in fact be the second cause of incapacity in 2020, according to the World Health Organisation.

This is a large-scale health problem with a great economic, social and also personal cost since Major Depression is involved in 70% of consummated suicides, for example.

The projects and results obtained by our researchers focus on the evaluation of impact and risk factors of depression, implementing and evaluating programmes for prevention and early detection and of suicidal depression and conduct. The programme has some important national and international projects concentrating on the search for the causes of this illness essentially by genetics and its interaction with the environment as well as in the search for and appraisal of new treatments, especially in patients who do not improve with the treatments that we currently have available.

Lines of research

  • Analysis of suicidal conduct and development of programmes for prevention. Incidence of suicide and related factors.
  • Gene-environment interaction and risk factors in depression. Pharmacogenetics studies.
  • Neurophysiological, cellular and molecular bases of depression and the action mechanism of anti-depressant drugs. Intracellular marker targets. Neuroimaging. Molecular and phenotypic characterisation (cognition, diagnostic and functionality scales, etc.)
  • New therapeutic targets. Neuroplasticity and serotonergic neurotransmission. Endocannabinoid system and anti-depressive response.
  • Therapeutics of depression: clinical assays and physical therapies. Deep Brain Stimulation Techniques and DBS in the treatment of treatment-resistant depression. Clinical assays on patients and animal models. New therapeutic tools in depression and TICs.


Main ResearcherConsortium InstitutionRegionsDetails
Jorge A Cervilla Ballesteros Universidad de Granada. Facultad de Medicina Andalucía View group
José Manuel Menchon Magriña Hospital Universitario de Bellvitge Cataluña View group
Ángel Armando Pazos Carro Universidad de Cantabria. Facultad de Medicina Cantabria View group
Víctor Pérez Sola Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau Cataluña View group
José Luis Ayuso Mateos Hospital Universitario La Princesa Madrid View group
Francesc Artigas Pérez Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas de Barcelona Cataluña View group