Improving the treatment of individuals with severe mental disorders

Meet Ole Köhler-Forsberg

“Psychiatry actually has many effective treatments, but we often lack the resources to use them efficiently, which is a clear motivation to optimize treatment regimens.”

Mental disorders are a significant public health concern that affect a large part of the population. With an interest in studying the etiology and treatment of severe mental disorders, Associate Professor Ole Köhler-Forsberg has made significant strides in the field.

Born in 1985, he is a renowned researcher at the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University, where he focuses on studying the causes and prevention of severe mental disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

One of the many areas that Ole Köhler-Forsberg has explored is the role of psychosocial and biological factors in the development of schizophrenia. His research combines genetics, inflammation and adverse childhood experiences to understand why some individuals develop this severe and disabling disorder.

By examining how physical illnesses can increase the risk of developing mental disorders, he aims to optimize the treatment of somatic diseases to prevent the onset of mental disorders or improve outcomes for those already affected.

Optimizing treatments

Ole Köhler-Forsberg’s clinical work provides him with valuable insight into patients’ struggles with mental disorders. His research focuses on optimizing existing treatments, developing new treatment options, and avoiding the severe side effects of established treatments such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and overweight.

“I see patients who are struggling with mental disorders and who do not respond to treatment – but I also see many patients responding very well to established treatments, which gives inspiration to optimize the use of existing treatments and develop new treatment possibilities,” he says.

The Associate professor believes that psychiatry has many effective treatments, but that the lack of resources and inefficiencies in treatment regimens hinder their widespread use.

Large schizophrenia cohort

Ole Köhler-Forsberg is part of an initiative to establish one of the world’s largest schizophrenia cohorts, hoping to answer some of the unanswered questions about the etiology of schizophrenia.

“The etiology of schizophrenia is still rather unknown, and large-scale clinical trials will help us to identify which factors might play a causal role in the development of this severe and potentially disabling mental disorder. Furthermore, we hope that this will give us new knowledge on which factors can be targeted early in life to prevent the development of mental disorders and which pathways can be targeted to optimize treatment possibilities,” says Ole Köhler-Forsberg.