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Centre for Ethics, Law and Mental Health conducts, supports and disseminates research about mental disorders, aggressive behaviour and moral and legal responsibility in an inter-disciplinary framework. The centre is a collaboration between University of Gothenburg, The National Board of Forensic Medicine, Swedish Prison and Probation Service, and The Forensic Psychiatric Clinic, Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

The aims of the Centre are to:

  • stimulate inter-disciplinary research within the area
  • support national and international scientific exchange
  • offer education and tutoring for graduate and post-graduate students
  • interact with the governmental organisations responsible for adolescent and adult criminal offenders with mental health problems
  • inform the public about up-to-date research within the area

Research Output - Recently published

  • Sabrina Doering; P. Lichtenstein; Christopher Gillberg; C. M. Middeldorp; M. Bartels; R. Kuja-Halkola; Sebastian Lundström (2019).
    Anxiety at age 15 predicts psychiatric diagnoses and suicidal ideation in late adolescence and young adulthood: results from two longitudinal studies , GUP 286707


  • Björn Hofvander; S. Bering; A. Tarnhall; Märta Wallinius; Eva Billstedt (2019).
    Few Differences in the Externalizing and Criminal History of Young Violent Offenders With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorders ISSN: 1664-0640, GUP 289395


  • Peter Andiné; Henrik Bergman (2019).
    Focus on Brain Health to Improve Care, Treatment, and Rehabilitation in Forensic Psychiatry , GUP 288421

  • Carl Delfin; Hedvig Krona; Peter Andiné; Erik Ryding; Märta Wallinius; Björn Hofvander (2019).
    Prediction of recidivism in a long-term follow-up of forensic psychiatric patients: Incremental effects of neuroimaging data ISSN: 1932-6203, GUP 280842


  • Marielle Nyman; Björn Hofvander; Thomas Nilsson; Helle Wijk (2019).
    Mental Health Nurses' Experiences of Risk Assessments for Care Planning in Forensic Psychiatry ISSN: 1499-9013, GUP 283092


  • Therese Åström; Martin Bergström; Kickan Håkansson; Ann Kristine Jonsson; Christian Munthe; Ingegerd Wirtberg; Johanna Wiss; Knut Sundell (2019).
    Treatment Foster Care Oregon for Delinquent Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis ISSN: 1049-7315, GUP 288331


  • Jesper Vestlund; Julia Winsa Jörnulf; Daniel Hovey; Sebastian Lundström; Paul Lichtenstein; Henrik Anckarsäter; Erik Studer; Petra Suchankova; Lars Westberg; Elisabeth Jerlhag (2019).
    Ghrelin and aggressive behaviours—Evidence from preclinical and human genetic studies ISSN: 03064530, GUP 287785


  • Sebastian Lundström; Caroline Mårland; Ralf Kuja-Halkola; Henrik Anckarsäter; Paul Lichtenstein; Christopher Gillberg; Thomas Nilsson (2019).
    Assessing autism in females: The importance of a sex-specific comparison ISSN: 0165-1781, GUP 285887


  • Caroline Mårland; Gitta Lubke; Alessio Degl'Innocenti; Maria Råstam; Christopher Gillberg; Thomas Nilsson; Sebastian Lundström (2019).
    The development of a brief screener for autism using item response theory , GUP 285885


More Research Output

Topical Links

  • Subcortical brain volume differences in participants with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adults: a cross-sectional mega-analysis
    Article in The Lancet Psychiatry 15 February 2017


  • Association Between Prescription of Major Psychotropic Medications and Violent Reoffending After Prison Release
    Question:  Is the use of psychotropic medications associated with a lower risk of reoffending for violent crime among released prisoners?
    Findings:  In this cohort study of 22 275 released prisoners, 3 classes of psychotropic medications (antipsychotics, psychostimulants, and medications used for addictive disorders) were associated with statistically significant hazard ratios (0.58, 0.62, and 0.48, respectively) of violent reoffending.
    Meaning:  Evidence-based provision of psychotropic medications to released prisoners was associated with lower risk of reoffending.
    Article in JAMA. 2016;316(17):1798-1807.


  • Managing Ethical Challenges to Mental Health Research in Post-Conflict Settings
    Article in Developing World Bioethics April -16
  • Genetic background of extreme violent behavior
    In developed countries, the majority of all violent crime is committed by a small group of antisocial recidivistic offenders, but no genes have been shown to contribute to recidivistic violent offending or severe violent behavior, such as homicide.
    Article in Molecular Psychiatry nr. 20 -15
  • Cortical and Subcortical Gray Matter Volume in Youths With Conduct Problems
    Article in JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(1):64-72


More Articles and Links 

Postgraduate studies

We have an extensive research education program, consisting of master/speciality theses, PhD theses and post-doc periods. Mostly, research students are clinicians (medical doctors, psychologists, social workers, physiotherapists or nurses) in the various services collaborating with us, but we also have externally recruited students as often as possible, including non-clinicians. During the last decade, we have had at least one PhD per year, all of whom have either gone on to pursue research in various positions or left for retirement having reached the stipulated age of retirement in Sweden. Our post-docs have generally continued careers in science, most of whom are today full professors or docents/readers. All are presented on this web-page.

Cotents of interest

One of the largest studies of somatic disorders in neurodevelopmental problems presented

New study in 28058 Swedish 9- and 12-year-old twins showed significant overrepresentations of epilepsy, migraine, asthma, cancer, lactose, celiac disease, diarrhea, constipation and enuresis/encopresis in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disorder or combinations thereof. It is one of the largest studies of somatic disorders in neurodevelopmental problems presented, and was published in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. CELAM has been one of the initiating groups behind the study and the development of the telephone interview used to assess the neurodevelopmental problems. The study is a collaboration with the Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre at the University of Gothenburg, University West and Karolinska Institutet. The first author, Dr Steareh Alabaf, took part in the amanuensis program at the Sahlgren’s Academy and was hosted by CELAM while doing the study.
GUP 269775

Associations Between Conduct Disorder, Neurodevelopmental Problems and Psychopathic Personality Traits in a Swedish Twin Youth Population

Olof Svensson; Karolina Sörman; Natalie Durbeej; Paul Lichtenstein; Henrik Anckarsäter; Nora Kerekes; Thomas Nilsson (2018). ISSN: 0882-2689, GUP 268724

Fetal and postnatal metal dysregulation in autism

"Genetic and environmental factors contribute to the etiologies of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but evidence of specific environmental exposures and susceptibility windows is limited. Here we study monozygotic and dizygotic twins discordant for ASD to test whether fetal and postnatal metal dysregulation increases ASD risk. Using validated tooth-matrix biomarkers, we estimate pre- and post-natal exposure profiles of essential and toxic elements. Significant divergences are apparent in metal uptake between ASD cases and their control siblings, but only during discrete developmental periods. Cases have reduced uptake of essential elements manganese and zinc, and higher uptake of the neurotoxin lead. Manganese and lead are also correlated with ASD severity and autistic traits. Our study suggests that metal toxicant uptake and essential element deficiency during specific developmental windows increases ASD risk and severity, supporting the hypothesis of systemic elemental dysregulation in ASD. Independent replication in population-based studies is needed to extend these findings."

Artikel i: NATURE COMMUNICATIONS 1 juni 2017
| 8:15493 | DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15493 |www.nature.com/naturecommunications


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Page Manager: Stefan Axelsson|Last update: 1/23/2018

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