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憂鬱症的「整合治療」、「創新療法」及「基礎研究」

蘇冠賓教授與身心介面實驗室(Mind-Body Interface Laboratory, MBI-Lab)對於憂鬱症病因及治療之研究不遺餘力。根據世界衛生組織的預測,憂鬱症將成為是本世紀戕害人類健康、造成人類失能最嚴重的疾病,面對全球憂鬱症所帶來的重大負擔,目前以藥物為主的治療模式完全無法達成令人滿意的療效。因此,該團隊最終希望所有的研究結果將來可以運用於憂鬱症的臨床分類、病因及做為預防及治療的參考,並以增進人類的身心健康為最終的目標。

蘇教授與其團隊多年來的努力,不但找到天然營養物質治療憂鬱症「有效且安全的新療法」、進而結合分子生物學及基因遺傳學探究憂鬱症病因、更進一步與國際研究領袖創建「國際營養及精神醫學研究學會International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR) 」,成為推動營養醫學成為精神醫學主流的重要學者。他們在World Psychiatry及Lancet Psychiatry的論文指出,營養在憂鬱症的病因及治療上有重要的關聯性,卻一直被醫學界所忽略。蘇教授與其MBI-Lab同仁在營養與精神醫學的系列論文不僅被歐美憂鬱症治療指引及教科書所引用,也吸引國際上臨床及學術領域的重視,最近更與台灣的神經科學、精神醫學及營養科學的專家,創立台灣營養及精神醫學研究學會TSNPR,期望以整合性的醫療造福身心患者。

蘇教授利用omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids(縮寫為omega-3或n-3 PUFAs,俗稱深海魚油)在治療特殊族群或合併生理疾病之憂鬱症患者,例如慢性C型肝炎、懷孕婦女、幼兒、心臟血管疾病病患、巴金森症患者,其研究結果大大提高對憂鬱症治療的安全性和選擇性。蘇教授是omega-3脂肪酸在憂鬱症治療上的先驅,早期論文在2003年發表後,至今已經被引用567次(2016年8月Google Scholar搜尋),該團隊發表世界第一篇綜合分析研究証實omega-3脂肪酸的抗鬱療效,自2007年發表後已被引用470次。此外,懷孕婦女憂鬱疾患的治療一直是臨床上的一大難題,蘇教授因此利用雙盲臨床試驗証實omega-3脂肪酸對於懷孕婦女重鬱症的療效,2008年至今已被引用223次。

根據h-index的統計,蘇教授在omega-3 PUFAs的憂鬱症領域上之研究,排名世界第二名,而本校團隊則排行全球機構第六。值得一題的是,根據2006至2010間引用次數前1%的文獻及共同被引用係數,蘇教授亦成為11位台灣頂尖科學家之一,榮獲「湯森路透科學卓越研究獎」,彰顯其為全球醫學研究帶來之重大突破與影響力。

蘇教授除了發現具實用價值的臨床研究的成果,更嘗試利用神經影像研究及動物模式與細胞模型,深入探究憂鬱症及治療上的分子生物學機制。身心介面實驗室進行的研究計畫,包括以「fMRI及PET」來探討omega-3 PUFAs、針灸、及經顱磁刺激之神經迴路作用機轉;以「動物模式」來研究肥胖、疼痛、壓力與憂鬱之共同致病病因及治療機制;以「細胞模型」來研究發炎、過氧化壓力及epigenetics在藥物與非藥物抗憂鬱治療上機制。

蘇教授提出在創新治療及病因學上之獨到見解,使他成功在Molecular Psychiatry及Biological Psychiatry等一流期刊發表系列性憂鬱症治療之生物機轉的研究,讓台灣的精神醫學研究愛到國際學術界的重視。其所獲國際及國內知名研究獎項包括:美國精神分裂症及憂鬱症研究聯盟年輕學者獎(2009)、國科會吳大猷紀念獎(2010)、湯森路透科學卓越研究獎(2011)、美國精神醫學研究學會年輕研究學者獎(2012)、國際脂肪酸研究學會年輕學者獎(兩度獲獎2012及2010)、泛太平洋精神醫學會年輕學者獎(2012)、英國精神藥理學會精神藥理研究獎(2013)及「國際脂肪酸研究學會Early Career Award」(2016)等。

在國際交流方面,蘇教授負責執行多項國際型及跨國合作研究計畫,其中包括2008-2010美國國家精神分裂症及憂鬱症研究聯盟計畫、2010-2012國科會台灣與英國頂尖大學合作研究計畫、2013-2015國科會與英國皇家學院交流合作計畫、2013年與美國John Kane教授完成精神分裂病治療的跨國際性研究、2013-2016日本國家神經精神中心及富山大學之孕婦憂鬱症預防的臨床試驗、及2014-2016國科會與波蘭國家研究發展中心交流合作計畫。該團隊持續舉辦國際「身心介面國際研討會」,第五屆於2014年10月20-21日成功舉辦,不僅吸引世界頂尖大學及研究機構之精神醫學及神經科學專家參加交流,提供精神醫學的臨床及研究人員不一樣的視界,更以多元的角度讓國內外專家共同學習討論,成功促進國際性合作交流。



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Dr. Kuan-Pin Su is a Professor of Psychiatry and the Chairman of Graduate Institute of Neural & Cognitive Sciences of China Medical University (CMU), Taichung, Taiwan. After graduation from Kaohsiung Medical College in 1995 (MD degree), he received his psychiatry residency training at Taipei City Psychiatric Centre. In 2008, he received his PhD and became the Honorary Faculty of the Institute of Psychiatry-King's College London.

Prof Su and his research team, the Mind-Body Interface Laboratory (MBI-Lab), have been involved in a series of clinical and basic research on major neuropsychiatric disorders and earned internationally renowned reputation. He has received prestigious research awards from professional societies, including Professor Robert Kerwin International Award from the British Association for Psychopharmacology (UK, 2008), the NARSAD Young Investigator Award (USA, 2008-2010), the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) New Investigator Award (2010 & 2012), the National Science Council Ta-You Wu Memorial Award (2011), GlaxoSmithKline Depression and Anxiety Award (2011), Thomson Reuters Research Front Awards (2011), USA Psychiatric Research Society Annual Meeting Travel Award (2012), Pacific Rim Psychiatrist College Young Psychiatrists Award (2012), Psychopharmacology Award from the British Association for Psychopharmacology (2013) and (ISSFAL) Early Career Award (2016).

Prof Su’s research has connected bedside to bench with novel interdisciplinary approaches of neuroimages and genomic, cellular and molecular biology, by integrating clinical significance with the investigation of basic sciences. His significant contribution on the role of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is opening the excitement and innovation of therapeutic strategies and has provided major insights into the biological mechanisms of depression. For example, he is one of the first to study the antidepressant effects of omega-3 PUFAs. The most relevant paper in this field has been cited for more than 569 times (Su et al., 2003) and the first meta-analysis (Lin and Su, 2007) has been cited for more than 465 times (GOOGLE SCHOLAR in May 2016). Prof Su also published the first study to demonstrate omega-3 PUFAs’ antidepressant effects in pregnant women with major depression (Su et al., 2008; 219 citations)According the h-index (ELSVIER in May 2016), Professor Su is the 2nd-ranked principal investigator in the world and CMU is ranked at the top 6th among global research institutes in the research field of “omega-3 PUFAs in depression.” In addition, he is one of the top 10-most cited Taiwanese scientists during 2006-2010 and therefore awarded by the Thomson Reuters Research Front Awards in 2011. 

 Recently, Prof Su has developed a specific model in the relationship among omega-3 PUFAs, inflammation, brain circuits, and depression. He discovered that certain genes regulating PUFA metabolism are associated with the risk of depression and somatic symptoms induced by interferon-α (Su et al., 2010), which is extended to an important clinical trial to show the prevention effects of omega-3 PUFAs in interferon-induced depression (Su et al., 2014). His recent papers with in vitro models have also revealed novel pathways linking to omega-3 PUFAs’ anti-inflammatory effects (Lu et al., 2010) and inflammation-induced depression (Lu et al., 2013). Furthermore, he applies fMRI and PET imaging studies to identify neural circuitry mechanisms of antidepressant effects of omega-3 PUFAs, rTMS and acupuncture. These are surely a breakthrough in understanding the mechanism of depressive disorders and also open a door for the improvement of depression treatment. In the future, Prof Su and his colleagues at the MBI-Lab will keep looking for the novel remedy for depression and the understanding to interface for mind and body. 

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