Barcelona snapshots

Prof. Carmine Pariante

Carmine Pariante psychiatrist Controversias Psiquiatry Barcelona
King's College London, United Kingdom
Talk Childhood maltreatment and treatment resistance in adult psychiatric disorders
Date Thursday, April 25th, 2019
Time 18:00 to 18:45
Round Table Generic aspects of resistance development


Carmine M. Pariante is Professor of Biological Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, and Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

He investigates the role of stress and inflammation in the pathogenesis of mental disorders and in the response to psychotropic drugs, both in clinical samples and experimental settings.

His work focuses on depression and fatigue, with a particular interest in the perinatal period and in subjects with medical disorders. Moreover, he also uses experimental and cellular models.

He has received numerous awards for his research, most recently the 2016 PNIRS Normal Cousins Award for Research in Psychoneuroimmunology, the 2017 Andrea Leadsom Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Infant Mental Health, the 2017 NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award, and the 2018 Art of Neuroscience Award.

His dream is that new therapeutic tools targeting the stress and inflammatory systems will soon be available to alleviate the suffering of patients with mental health problems.

He can be followed on Twitter @ParianteSPILab and on


Studies over the last 20 years have demonstrated that increased inflammation and hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis are two of the most consistent biological findings in major depression and are often associated, and are particularly evident in subjects with enduring, neurodevelopmental forms of depression, linked to exposure to early life adversity and even prenatal exposure to stress. However, the molecular and clinical mechanisms underlying these abnormalities are still unclear. These findings are particularly enigmatic, especially considering the accepted notion that high levels of cortisol have an anti-inflammatory action, and therefore the coexistence of inflammation and hypercortisolemia in the same diagnostic group appears counter-intuitive. This talk review and discuss our own 20 years of research on the clinical and molecular evidence underlying the increased inflammation in depression, especially in the context of a hyperactive HPA axis and early life adversity, and discuss its implications for the pathogenesis and treatment of this disorder.


[web] Osborne S et al (2018). Antenatal depression programs cortisol stress reactivity in offspring through increased maternal inflammation and cortisol in pregnancy: The Psychiatry Research and Motherhood – Depression (PRAM-D) Study. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2018 Dec;98:211-221. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.06.017. Epub 2018 Jul 19..

[web] Plant DT, Pawlby S, Sharp D, Zunszain PA, Pariante CM (2016). Prenatal maternal depression is associated with offspring inflammation at 25 years: a prospective longitudinal cohort study. Transl Psychiatry. 2016 Nov 1;6(11):e936. doi: 10.1038/tp.2015.155..

[PDF] Otte C et al (2016). Major depressive disorder. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2016 Sep 15;2:16065. doi: 10.1038/nrdp.2016.65..

[web] Baumeister D, Akhtar R, Ciufolini S, Pariante CM, Mondelli V (2016). Childhood trauma and adulthood inflammation: a meta-analysis of peripheral C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factor-α. Mol Psychiatry. 2016 May;21(5):642-9. doi: 10.1038/mp.2015.67. Epub 2015 Jun 2.