Dr. Roel Mocking, MD, PhD

Short bio
Dr. Roel Mocking, MD, PhD, is in the final year of his psychiatric training at the Amsterdam University Medical Center. During his psychiatric training he obtained his PhD cum laude on neurometabolic alterations in depression. During his postdoc he investigated the effects of deep brain stimulation in psychiatric disorders, including obsessive compulsive disorder and anorexia nervosa. Currently, as an assistant professor, he supervises four PhD trajectories, one of which has been completed successfully already. He wrote >50 well-cited peer-reviewed articles, won several academic prizes, and is member of the editorial board of European Neurosychopharmacology. He aims to translate his scientific findings to the clinic and vice versa, e.g. as a member of the scientific committee of the Netherlands Psychiatry Association and by media outreach through newspapers and national television.

Research summary

Roel Mocking’s research mainly focuses on (I) neurometabolic alterations in psychiatric disorders, particularly recurrent depression, (II) deep brain stimulation, and (III) thein interaction.
Regarding neurometabolism, he found alterations in fatty acid metabolism associated with depression. These alterations partly persisted during remission, and predicted recurrence and treatment response. Moreover, with meta analysis he showed that supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids had a significant and potentially clinically relevant effect compared to placebo as an addition to the treatment of depression. This seemed to be caused by the anti- inflammatory effects of the omega-3 fatty acid EPA (advised daily dose 2000mg), that has been incorporated in clinical guidelines. Moreover, in another meta-analysis he showed that omega-3 fatty acids also seemed to be beneficial in post-partum depression. \Regarding deep brain stimulation (DBS), he analyzed the largest cohort of patients treated with DBS for a psychiatric disorder, and showed that DBS was effective for treatment-refractory obsessive- compulsive disorder. The large effect size persisted during long-term follow-up, and included beneficial outcomes on quality of life and functional recovery. He is now interested to combine these two branches of research, by investigating how neurometabolic alterations may affect the working of DBS. For example, could it be that white matter lipid constituents have an electrochemical influence on the effectiveness of DBS?