NCRR Research

The academic staff at NCRR consists of Professors, Senior Researchers, Postdocs, PhD Students and Research Assistants; and a non-academistrative staff of 3 persons. Their main practise of expertise is to identify and pursue ways of using information stored in the Danish population-based registers. The registers allow research to address questions related to the epidemiology of psychiatric disorders, such as:

  • How many people have a particular mental disorder?
  • Do mental disorders occur differently in men and women?
  • When do different mental disorders emerge across the lifespan?
  • What are the risk factors for mental disorders – for example, do we inherit risk factors from our parents (e.g. genetic factors) or risk factors that we face during life (e.g. trauma, stress, low parental vitamin D)
  • How disabling are mental disorders, and how can we best measure this burden?

Although the causes of most mental disorders are unknown, it has been found that different biological, psychological, and environmental factors can all contribute to the development or progression of mental disorders. Most mental disorders are a result of a combination of several different factors rather than just a single factor.

For researchers at NCRR, the overriding hypothesis is that environmental risk factors contribute to the etiology of a range of mental disorders through their impact on neurodevelopment during fetal life, infancy and childhood. According to this hypothesis, the early exposures may interact with later risk factors such as social adversity or physical illness, as well as genetic risk.

Over the last decade, genetic and other biological data have, thus, been added to the studies, anticipating that a combination of biological, health and social data will allow the discovery of interacting genetic and environmental etiologies of mental disorders. The section below provides an insight into current research at NCRR and previous research results.