Priya Gajadien

improve treatment efficacy for the patient.

Priya Gajadien, BSc

Research assistant, with Brainclinics since 2021

Tell us a little about yourself?
I completed the bachelor Psychobiology. Currently, I am in my first year of the master Neurobiology, specifically the track ‘Physiology of Synapses and Networks’.

The physiology of synapses?
The brain consists of billions of neurons that are connected in a network. Neurons communicate with other neurons via synapses within and between networks. These synapses are the couplings between neurons that allow signals to pass from one neuron to another. In this master I learn to understand the organization and functions in the networks and their impact on behavior. I am fascinated by the idea how billions of neurons can communicate with other neurons and lead to how we think, function and behave.

That does sound fascinating
That’s because it is! For as long as I can remember, I have had a broad interest in the neurobiological field of the human body. The courses that were related to stress, psychiatric disorders and the neurobiological background of those subjects, piqued my interest in this field even more. Since I have experienced and learned that stress plays a crucial role in society, and us humans live in a world that is under constant pressure, the opportunity to focus more on the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of psychiatric disorders, feels like a dream to me.

My final research project in my bachelor was conducted in the research group of Paul Lucassen at the department of Structural and Functional Plasticity of the nervous system in the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences. The topic of my thesis was ‘The effects of corticosterone of long term fear memory’, where we focused on long-term memory, memory “engrams” and stress mechanisms in mice. With this first internship I had the opportunity to experience the molecular field of fundamental neurobiological research.
After this internship I wanted to focus more on clinical research where I can directly do research and work with clients who experience mental health problems. Since mental health problems have a great impact on the whole world and especially these days, it is needed to effectively try to optimize treatment.

What do you do at Brainclinics?
My project at Brainclinics mainly focuses on beta spindles as transdiagnostic biomarker for impulse control in patients with major depressive disorder and ADHD. I will study these beta spindles in association with the impairment of impulse control, with a deep-learning model that can automatically detect these beta patterns.

How would that help in optimizing treatment?
Well, I will also study these beta spindles in association with treatment response and behavior. This treatment will focus on stratification psychiatry. With this I hope to achieve better clinical outcomes by combing multiple effective treatments in order to allow more precise diagnostics and improve treatment efficacy for the patient.