Hein van Marle receives Hersenstichting grant

Psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. Hein van Marle, together with colleagues of Amsterdam UMC and University of Amsterdam (UvA), receives a €600.000 grant from the Hersenstichting within the programme ‘Op weg naar genezing’. This grant is awarded to the innovative SLEEP DEEP project. This project aims to translate a new technique to deepen sleep and strengthen memory consolidation into a clinical treatment strategy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is a common and severely disabling psychiatric disorder in which traumatic memories result in flashbacks and nightmares. Nearly half of patients do not respond optimally to standard psychotherapy. Sleep represents a unique time-window to increase treatment effects based on its essential role in the processing of (traumatic) memories. Yet PTSD patients typically experience poor sleep. In the project, the researchers will apply a novel technique using EEG-guided acoustic stimulation to deepen sleep after standard psychotherapy. This is hypothesized to strengthen the storage of therapeutic memories and generally restore disturbed sleep, together resulting in stronger symptom improvement. Other project members include Prof. Odile van den Heuvel (Amsterdam UMC), Dr. Lucia Talamini (UvA) en Prof. Miranda Olff (Amsterdam UMC).

Hein van Marle works as a trauma-focused psychiatrist at ARQ National Psychotrauma centre and GGZ inGeest. He is affiliated to the department of Psychiatry of Amsterdam UMC as a principal investigator. His research focuses on translating neuroscientific findings on memory manipulation during sleep into novel treatment strategies for patients with PTSD. For this, he received several grants, including a ZonMw VENI grant, a NWO Off Road grant and 2 Narsad Young Investigator Grants from the US-based Brain & Behavior Research foundation.

The Hersenstichting programme ‘Op weg naar genezing’ focuses on development and improvement of treatments to cure, stop or delay severe brain conditions. More information can be found on the website of Hersenstichting (in Dutch).