Introducing Doctoral Researcher Karoliina Kurkinen

Introducing Doctoral Researcher Karoliina Kurkinen

Karoliina Kurkinen (FM, neurosciences) is a member of the Adolescent Psychiatry Research Group at the University of Eastern Finland. She is currently working on her dissertation research on metabolic changes in the body in psychiatric diseases in young outpatient patients. Professor Tommi Tolmunen and Senior Researcher Olli Kärkkäinen from the Department of Pharmacy act as instructors of doctoral dissertation.

The first part of the dissertation is focused on the differences between acute and chronic depression in blood samples in measurable metabolism. Young outpatient patients diagnosed with acute or chronic depression were studied. Changes were observed in energy metabolism and single-carbon methylation reactions important for example in neurotransmitter synthesis. Such knowledge may help to establish depression and target and individualize treatments in the future. “Diagnostics of mental disorders still rely on conversation and observations made by the doctor. A review of metabolic products could be to help differentiate between the diagnoses of psychiatry that overlap the criteria,” says Karoliina, who is currently finalizing the second publication of the dissertation.

“For a neuroscientist interested in mental health disorders offers Kuopio Brain & Mind an important networking platform — I especially miss exchanging ideas face-to-face!” says Karoliina referring to the challenged caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

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